COMPANIES like Procter & Gamble, S.C. Johnson, Hallmark Cards and U.S. Steel all embraced  profit-sharing and were part of a corporate movement to encourage the practice, said Prof. Joseph R Blasi, who directs Rutger's Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing.

Among some leading, executives in the early to mid-20th century, Professor Blasi said, ''there was a notion that wages were not enough and workers had a right to share in the fruits of their labor.''

In the executive suit, however, profit-sharing still flourishes. While 68 percent of workers earn more than $75,000 benefit from it, only 20 percent of workers earning less than $30,000 do, according to Professor Blasi.

The decline of profit-sharing for the latter group has accelerated in recent years, with the median annual grant falling to $300 in 2014 from $921 in 2002.

There are Amazon employees, who hold a lot of stock. Four out of the top five executives earned less than $175,000 each in annual salary in the last three years, but got tens of millions of dollars in stock.

By current standards, Amazon is generous. In addition to retirement funds, full-time employees receive medical insurance and a week of paid vaccination their first year.

Half a century ago, a typical Sears salesman could walk out of the store at retirement with a nest egg worth well over a million in today's dollars, feathered with company stock.

A warehouse worker hired now at Amazon who stays until retirement would leave with a fraction of that.

Much as Sears has declined in the intervening decades, so has the willingness of corporate America to share the rewards of success. Shareholders now come first and employees have been pushed back of the line.

This shift is broader than a single company's culture, reflecting deep changes in how business is now conducted in America. Winner-take-most or all, and in many cases publicly traded companies are concentrating wealth, not spreading it.

Profit-sharing and pensions are rarity among the rank-and-file, while top executives take home an increasing share of the spoils.

Amazon shareholders have benefited more than workers, but Sears, in its heyday, tried to serve both.

Sears earmarked earmarked a 10 percent of pretax earnings for a retirement plan for full-time employees and by the 1950s, the workers owned a quarter Sears.

By contrast, one man at Amazon, the founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos, owns 16 percent of the company and is ranked as the world's richest person.

Amazon, which changed how Americans shop much as Sears in its prime, does not disclose what percentage of its stock is owned by employees.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on Employee Ownership, and Profit Sharing, continues. The World students Society thanks authors Nelson D. Schwartz and Michael Corkery.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!