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United Employees Rally Against Changes to Bonus Program
07 March 2018, 11:41 | Lorenzo Hawkins
Some United Airlines employees are upset about a plan to replace quarterly bonuses with a lottery
"Our intention was to introduce a better, more exciting program, but we misjudged how these changes would be received by many of you", Kirby said in a letter to employees on Monday.
United Airlines' plan to replace bonuses with a lottery system simply wasn't flying with its employees.
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".
The conflict began out in the open last week, after the Chicago Business Journal reported that United was eliminating the performance bonuses eligible employees had been receiving each quarter and replacing them with a program called core4 Score Rewards.
The Chicago-based airline decided last Friday to change their employee bonus program to a tiered, lottery rewards system with prizes that included vacation packages, luxury cars and up to $100,000 in cash. United Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fortune. 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.
One of the comments made by unhappy employees focused on the timeliness that United Airlines has been able to achieve over the last two years; as the most reliable airline operating in the United States, switching to a lottery system for the objective of rewarding employees who make this reliability possible does not make sense. Earlier, the union had said that employees were "entirely opposed to and offended by this new "select' bonus program".
"I can't imagine driving the Mercedes into the employee lot while everyone around me that worked just as hard, or harder got nothing".
"When no one "qualifies" because they called out sick due to the most very bad flu in years, or sick children, or life ... the company just makes more money for itself", she wrote. The video of the incident had sparked outrage on social media.
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