Friday, March 17, 2017
By now, most of you have realized that last week’s profit sharing award didn’t go very far. While your peers at our competitors were able to pay down sizable debt, take a vacation, or possibly buy a new car, our share was barely enough to help pay a doctor bill or catch up on the rent. While it has been said that one should never look a gift horse in the mouth, last Friday’s announcement by Doug Parker lauding the recent profit sharing payout to employees certainly left APFA members underwhelmed.
A true measure of a company’s appreciation of its “team members” is its willingness to compensate them commensurate with their peers in the industry. We worked hard, and our sacrifices brought American Airlines back to profitability. We helped pay back creditors, buy new aircraft, and even start the construction of a new Headquarters. But, do you feel recognized? Do you feel valued? Do you feel like we’re “Going for Great?” Do our customers?
While we appreciate Mr. Parker’s reversal last year of his opinion that profit sharing is not the best way to compensate employees, the numbers still do not reflect the sentiment expressed in his recent communication that speaks to a transformed American where leadership can be trusted to do the right thing for the company and its employees:
As we wait for an arbitrator’s ruling on the wage arbitration case, our counterparts at other airlines are consistently outpacing us in terms of generous profit sharing plans year after year, leaving us with words on a page and more empty promises that never seem to materialize.
APFA’s position has always been clear: Give us pay and benefits comparable to what today’s market would dictate. For far too long, American Airlines Flight Attendants, while contributing to American’s great success in the form of consecutive concessionary contracts, have made great sacrifices in terms of pay, benefits, work rules, and quality of life. It is high time that management reward those sacrifices by sharing a greater percentage of the wealth with those who have played such an integral role in attaining it.
Words can inspire, but trust is earned by action. Richard Branson once said, “Don’t take employees for granted. If you don’t value your team, they won’t value your customers”.
APFA National President