Sky Talk

No. 6: American Airlines announces profit-sharing plan for employees

For two years, American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker said he’d rather pay workers higher wages instead offer profit-sharing plans that may not pay out.

But when American made $7.6 billion in profits in 2015, union leaders repeatedly asked Parker why employees weren’t able to share the wealth.

That will change next year as Parker announced in March that American will offer a profit-sharing plan to over 110,000 employees. The Fort Worth-based carrier has put aside five percent of every pre-tax dollar it earned in 2016 into a profit-sharing pool to be shared by pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, ground workers and all non-management level employees.

“We are taking this step because we have heard from many of you that a profit-sharing plan is important to our success as a team,” Parker said in March. “By eliminating profit sharing in exchange for higher base pay rates, we inadvertently have eliminated some of our shared sense of teamwork - and that was never our intent.”

For the first three quarters of 2016, American has set aside $257 million in its profit-sharing pool.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk