United Airlines ditches plan to replace bonuses with lottery
09 March 2018, 03:10 | Andres Norman
United Continental Holdings was down 0.55% on Monday
Now United says it was a 'misjudgement'.
The response on social media and internal corporate message boards was swift and angry, with commentary recorded from a range of United employees pointing out flaws and inequities in the new program.
"Our intention was to introduce a better, more exciting program, but we misjudged how these changes would be received by many of you", said Scott Kirby, president of United Continental (UAL), the holding company for the airline, in an email to employees.
United Airlines on Monday suspended plans to award quarterly bonuses through a new lottery system after backlash from employees over the weekend.
The proposed lottery system - which offered prizes ranging from a Mercedes sedan to a one-person $100k payout - would've only affected 1,361 employees, and cost the company around $18m.
It would have been available only to workers with a flawless attendance record and when the airline met certain performance targets.
The overwhelming majority of United's 90,000 workers would have lost bonuses that paid up to $1,500 over the course of the year. Other employees stated that the lottery system does not appeal to them and could thus opt out of participating simply by not doing a good job.
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"They took away our quarterly incentive bonuses, and changed it to a deplorable new system that only rewards an elite few", said the petition.
Chicago Business Journal, which first reported the change late Friday, noted that Kirby's memo had largely failed to create the "caring" attitude the company has been trying to develop and that the CEO can not afford to jeopardize the company's improving on-time performance.
These were posted on the internal United Airlines employee website, Flying Together.
When United first unveiled its plans for the program, called "core4 Score Rewards", the airline said it hoped offering meaningful rewards would "build excitement and a sense of accomplishment with more bang for the buck".
United, which has more than 80,000 employees, did not respond to specific questions about either the lottery program or the current bonus program. Chicago-based United employs about 88,000 personnel worldwide. Workers at the Chicago-based carrier are reportedly less than pleased.
Since announcing our planned changes to the quarterly operations incentive program, we have listened carefully to the feedback and concerns you've expressed.
So, we are pressing the pause button on these changes to review your feedback and consider the right way to move ahead. How a company treats and compensates its employees should reflect not only the values and beliefs of the company itself, but should encourage and reward every employee in the business for delivering the company's brand promise.
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