It’s a good time to be a Southwest Airline employee: the US airline announced earlier this week that it would give its 60,000 employees a slice of US $667 million (AU $999.5 million) for turning a profit in 2019.
It means some staff will see a cool 12.2 per cent bump to their annual salary and is more than six weeks’ pay.
Workers will get 10 per cent of their compensation through the company’s profit-sharing plan, while the other 2.2 per cent will be given in cash. Some employees will have the sum added to their retirement accounts.
"Our employees delivered outstanding results despite a challenging year, and it's a pleasure to reward our people for all they contribute to our continued success," Southwest Airlines CEO and board chairman Gary Kelly said in a statement.
"We recognise their resolve, persistence, resilience, and devotion to each other, our customers, and our cause."
US $125 million of the bonus pay comes from compensation from Boeing after the grounding of its Boeing 737 MAX planes hit Southwest’s bottom line by 6.7 per cent last year, CNN reported. Southwest has the most Max planes in its fleet of any other airline in the world.
Delta Airlines also recently gave 90,000 of its employees a bumper US $1.6 billion bonus, which comes to two additional months’ pay for every employee.
According to Rutgers University director of the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, employee payouts is a boost to worker morale.
“Research shows that cash profit-sharing plans, combined with a supportive corporate culture that encourages employees to offer suggestions and participate in solving company problems, can reduce turnover and improve corporate performance and personal motivation,” he said.
While 38 per cent of adult US workers say they have received a bonus, the average amount is just US $2,000 or 5 per cent of pay, studies have shown.
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