United Airlines employees slam 'lottery' bonus plan

United Airlines employees and customers at La Guardia International in New York last April. Faced with a backlash from employees United Airlines said Monday

United Said It'll Give Out $100K Prize. Workers Despise the Idea

And now United is feeling the wrath of its own staff for plans to replace a quarterly bonus scheme with a lottery that would award prizes that the airline called "life-changing".

A United representative had mentioned, "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, "she continued". He called the lottery the core4 Score Rewards program.

The system would have replaced quarterly, performance-based bonuses and rewards for flawless attendance with a lottery-based system, where eligible employees would be entered into a drawing for a variety of prizes if the company hit one of its performance goals during a calendar quarter. A single employee would receive a grand prize of $100,000 under the plan, media reports said.

"The employee group that would have been eligible for those bonuses was much larger" than that of the lottery system, Taylor Garland, spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants, said in a phone interview.

As reported by Inc, Employees were quick to voice their disquiet over the lottery on the company's internal communication system and private Facebook page. Now, however, it looks like quarterly bonuses are being merged into the program.

"I haven't seen or heard one positive comment from a front line employee regarding this "new and enhanced" program", one person wrote. "Great job everyone but I'm sorry". "I recommend United management reconsider this morale killing program", said a captain.

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According to the Chicago Business Journal, the memo has caused a "firestorm" among employees, a decided setback when trying to encourage them to "care" more.

Kirby's decision comes at a particularly challenging time for United Airlines as the carrier grapples to reassure shareholders and appease employees amid lagging financial performance compared with rivals' and demands for better wages and benefits.

United Airlines is "pressing the pause button" on a rewards system that would have disbursed bonuses via lottery. "If the idea is to motivate people, it doesn't seem to be having its intended effect".

It was unpopular among employees, who thought it had the potential to divide them instead of encouraging them to work toward a common goal.

"When no one "qualifies" because they called out sick due to the most bad flu in years, or sick children, or life ... the company just makes more money for itself", she wrote.

While $300 might not go a long way, "employees don't want to lose something that makes a difference", he said. "It's exactly the wrong message to send".

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