Delta faced widespread outrage when it publicly urged employees not to unionize, showing it's true colors to both employees and customers. Critics responded saying the campaign went beyond being anti-union; it was anti-worker. In one poster, Delta made light of the potential benefits of unionization, saying that employees' money would be better spent on gaming systems instead of member dues. The Hill reports:
The poster, first shared on Twitter by Common Dreams editor Eoin Higgins, features a game controller with the message, "Union dues cost around $700 a year.” “A new video game system with the latest hits sounds like fun,” the poster reads. “Put your money towards that instead of paying dues to the union."
The purpose of a union is to protect workers' rights. Labor unions help employees advocate for better wages, healthcare, hours and more, and Delta's actions prove that employers care more about achieving their bottom line than standing up in the name of what's best for employees.
Although there are certainly companies that have betrayed their employees' trust, there are plenty of organizations that continuously demonstrate their appreciation. A solid workplace culture is what keeps and attracts top talent, after all.
MarketWatch highlights a number of companies actively proving their devotion to employees. Salesforce topped the list for the work it is doing to achieve equal pay for all employees. According to MarketWatch's Funto Omojola:
...the companies that scored highly in being attentive to their employees made four times the revenue than those at the bottom of the list...The companies that scored highest in leadership effectiveness made five times the revenue than those who didn’t. And the companies that sought employee opinions and prioritized worker opportunities to innovate made 5.5 times more.
Employers must have every employees' best interest in mind when making decisions. If they don't, their businesses will not survive.
Meanwhile, in May of 2019, Uber and Lyft drivers joined forces to participate in a worldwide strike in response to the initial public offerings of both companies.
Valued at $82.4 billion, Uber will go down in history as one of the largest in the tech industry to date. Uber changed how we view transportation around the world, and it was only able to do so because of the drivers it employs. Without drivers, Uber's business would not be possible, yet these same drivers say they have almost zero transparency to how much money they will make after a day's work.
One group who won’t benefit much from Uber’s IPO: its drivers, who numbered 3.9 million at the end of last year. In fact, they are likely to see their pay worsen over the upcoming year as the company strives to become more profitable while facing public shareholder pressure for the first time.
Other businesses are almost entirely employee-owned, making them beholden to the desires of workers themselves, rather than shareholders. Publix Super Markets is the the largest majority employee-owned business in the country. It has a workforce of over 175,000 and maintains a reputation for keeping employees happy. Fortune's Christopher Tkaczyk became a temporary Publix employee to see what all the hype is about. He notes, "Publix has never laid off an employee in its 86-year history."
Another core piece of the Publix formula: happy employees. Or more accurately: pleased-as-punch, over-the-moon, ridiculously contented “associates,” as Publix likes to call them.
Anyone who stays for at least a year and accrues more than 1,000 hours is granted shares of company stock that are initially valued between 8% and 12% of the employee’s annual compensation.
Perhaps employee-ownership over a company is the secret sauce.