This past Friday, Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge announced that the company would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour, including target commissions. The cable company, which is now the second largest in the country, employs 95,000 people.
“Charter’s workforce is key to the success of our company,” said Rutledge. “Our commitment to pay every employee at least a $15 per hour income will enhance our efforts to develop our highly-skilled, diverse and locally based workforce, improving their lives and the lives of the customers they serve.”
The announcement comes following “historic tax reform legislation and the FCC’s removal of the 1930’s era regulatory framework for internet service,” according to a blog post on Charter’s policy website.
As noted by John Eggerton for Broadcasting & Cable, Charter’s move goes beyond the one-time bonuses several companies announced following passage of the new tax legislation. It also addresses criticisms that benefits of the tax cuts would not be passed on to regular people.
Charter is crediting its ability to raise the minimum wage to recent efforts in Washington, DC to create a more deregulatory environment, Axios reports.
“Last year, given the general deregulatory environment and anticipating the Administration, Congress, and the FCC enacting these pro-growth policies, we announced we would hire 20,000 employees and invest $25 billion in infrastructure,” Rutledge said.
“Today, with tax reform and the removal of the Title II statutory framework both a reality, Charter will continue the capital investment program we started last year and will complete it by 2020,” he continued.
While wages may vary by state, Charter guarantees the $15 minimum wage for all employees, regardless of where they live. This is a big deal for states like Florida, where Charter is the first major corporation to both endorse and implement a $15 minimum wage for its employees.
“Raising our minimum wage is the right thing to do for our employees and our company,” Rutledge said. “The majority of our employees are call center representatives, field technicians and staff at Spectrum stores. They interact with thousands of people every day and are the face of Charter to our more than 26 million customers across our 41-state footprint.”
Charter also sees this effort to raise the minimum wage as being critical to its ability to “better attract, train and retain the highly skilled, diverse workforce we want and need to solve our customers’ problems or install cable broadband service in their homes.”