Hormel also expects to pass some of the tax savings on to its shareholders. Long known as a strong income generator for investors, Hormel has provided dividend increases for 52 consecutive years.

The Austin company issued a similar employee benefit in 2007, when it awarded more than 18,000 workers stock options for 100 shares each as a long-term investment in Hormel.

Hormel joins a growing list of companies, large and small, that have provided bonuses and pay increases for more than four million Americans and counting.