Media Release: The Qantas Ownership Story

by Employee Share Ownership on December 17, 2013

Peak backs Qantas staff bid for airline share

Tuesday 17 December, 2013: A proposal being developed by Qantas staff to take a stake in the airline has the support of the peak body for broad based employee ownership, Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand.

EOA director Alan Greig said that the plan for Qantas staff to take a 25 per cent stake in the business reflected a trend in the airline industry internationally.

“It is an example of a phenomenon that is becoming more familiar in the US and Europe among firms that face economic difficulties: the taking up by employees of a substantial ownership stake in return for concessions necessary to maintain the firm’s viability.”

“One of the most visible examples of employee ownership in companies in recent years has been in the airline industry, where players like Southwest Airlines in the US have made efforts to increase employee participation, responsibility and ownership. Employee buy-ins have been proven to work in airlines throughout the world,” said Mr Greig.

Southwest Airlines has consistently ranked as one of the top performing airlines in the industry. Between 10 and 15 percent of Southwest’s stock is owned by its employees through a profit-sharing plan.

 “Southwest Airlines has created a culture where employees are treated as the company’s number one asset. It is something that we can learn from here to get our national flagship carrier – Qantas, the flying kangaroo – bounding ahead again.”

 “The employees feel like owners because they are owners. It is one of the things that employees – from flight attendants to aircraft mechanics – are most proud of. The airline operates on open book management principles and is transparent and inclusive, keeping employees in the information loop,’ said Mr Greig.

Mr Greig said the proposal should be given serious consideration in light of global evidence that worker buyouts lead to increased productivity and profitability.

“Employee ownership has been proven to enhance employee engagement, increase motivation and increase productivity, giving those companies with shared ownership arrangements a distinct competitive edge,” said Mr Greig.

Mr Greig said EOA has been aware of the Qantas plan for some time and will assist enquiries from staff in any industry or at any location on how to implement an employee ownership scheme in the businesses that they work for.


More information

Alan Greig

Board Member, Employee Ownership Association

T. 0418 418 182 | E. |

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