Finance

United tried to replace bonuses with a $100000 lottery

United tried to replace bonuses with a $100000 lotteryā€¯

As reported by the Chicago Business Journal, the program was introduced without warning by means of an internal memo penned by United Airlines president Scott Kirby, and it only took a few days of boisterous criticism by employees to roll the program back.

Following swift backlash from employees, United Airlines has scrapped its plans to replace quarterly employee bonuses with a lottery-based employee reward system.

United Airlines' employees are said to have garnered more than 1,000 signatures in a change.org.petition that voices their concerns over the new program.

"We announced a new internal program based on United meeting certain operational and dependability metrics as a way of offering meaningful rewards to our employees", said a United spokesperson in an email with Inc.com.

"As we look to continue improving, we took a step back and made a decision to replace the quarterly operational bonus and flawless attendance programs with an exciting new rewards program called "core4 Score Rewards", Kirby wrote in the memo.

The new program, called "core4 Score Rewards" will include quarterly prizes, including cash ranging from $2,000 to $40,000, vacation packages and luxury cars. Of roughly 500 comments I read, four were positive (and three of those were from the company's vice president for human resources, responding to the negative comments). Laurie Vesalo, who is a flight attendant at United Airlines wrote a petition titled "Make United Airlines Great Again", which outlined the various complaints of the employees.

The lottery would have caused a majority of the airline's 90,000 workers to lose bonuses that paid up to $1,500 over the course of the year. Earlier, the union had said that employees were "entirely opposed to and offended by this new "select' bonus program". The bonuses were given to not only United's 24,000 flight attendants but also its pilots and gate agents among others, she said.

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"I can't imagine driving the Mercedes into the employee lot while everyone around me that worked just as hard, or harder got nothing", one flight attendant wrote. It took so many years for people to feel good about what was happening.

Many consumers criticized the move on social media, and both journalists and analysts ridiculed the program.

United employs almost 90,000 people.

As detailed in United's recent 2017 fourth quarter earnings release, the company distributed approximately $30 million in earned incentive payments for achieving operations performance goals during the quarter.

Now, United says it is "pressing the pause button" on the program as it reviews employee feedback.

Kirby said the airline would reach out to employee work groups and changes made would "better reflect your feedback".



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