Joining the growing ranks of corporate brands that have done the same, Walmart has announced it will provide better wages and bonuses for employees after sweeping tax reform was signed into law last month.

The company announced it will raise its starting salary to $11 an hour at Walmart and Sam's Club stores. Some employees will also get a one-time cash bonus of between $200 and $1,000 based on whether or not they will receive a pay raise.

But it wasn't all good news. Thousands of Sam's Club employees were facing unemployment after stores across the country — including at least two in New Jersey —suddenly closed on Thursday.

The new starting wage is still less than the $15-an-hour wage that labor activists have been campaigning for across the country.

Walmart has more than 2 million employees around the world, including 1.5 million workers in the United States.

On Tuesday, Steve Kalafer, owner of the Flemington Car & Truck Country dealerships, announced that after the passage of the recent tax laws he will give more than 700 employees a $500 bonus. The bonuses, according to Kalafer, are are result of the money the company will save under the new tax code.

"It's about what can happen when you put money in the hands of the people and not in government's pocket," Kalafer said. "Reinvesting tax savings in our employees and our businesses will make our communities and America stronger."

Kalafer, who also owns the independent Somerset Patriots baseball team, has said he will invest in new equipment and other upgrades at his dealerships.

Other companies have already said that they will give bonuses to their employees because of the new law. AT&T, which has large operations in New Jersey, said it would give $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 unionized employees.

Boeing, which has more than 100 employees in New Jersey, said it would spend $300 million on employee training and donations to community groups.

Comcast said it would pay $1,000 bonuses to 100,000 frontline workers.

Bank of America also said it would award $1,000 bonuses to employees who earn less than $150,000 a year.

Information from the Associated Press included in this report

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