Having skin in the game is a game changer
Many employees in the airline industry participate in some form of profit-sharing and gain-sharing program. A recent article in the Dallas Morning News shared some details on the value of the profit-sharing payouts provided by some major airlines, including Southwest, Delta, and JetBlue.
Profit Sharing in the Airline Industry
This information was obtained from the Aviation Blog article by Terry Maxon of the Dallas Morning News:
- Southwest Airlines employees will split up $228 million in profit sharing in 2014.
- Delta Air Lines distributed about $506 million on Feb. 14, representing an amount equal to 8.26 percent of their eligible 2013 earnings. In addition, employees during 2013 divided up $91.7 million in monthly performance incentives.
- Alaska Airlines and its regional affiliate, Horizon Air, handed out about $84 million in annual bonuses in late February. Those bonuses were equal to more than 9 percent of their annual pay. Including monthly performance incentives, the carriers’ employees received nearly $105 million.
- United Continental Holdings, parent of United Airlines, handed out $190 million in profit sharing to employees on Feb. 14.
- JetBlue Airways handed out $12 million in profit sharing.
Many of these companies are covered by union contracts. Many of the best union free employers implement gain-sharing voluntarily as an important piece of their company culture, rather than as a union avoidance strategy.