By Sahid Fawaz
An airline found out quickly that its employees don’t take their bonuses lightly.
“United Airlines has scrapped a plan to cancel its quarterly bonus program and replace it with a drawing for prizes after it was received with fury by employees.
The airline’s president, Scott Kirby, said the company had listened carefully to feedback from employees and decided to scrap the program.
‘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 statement. ‘So, we are pressing the pause button on these changes to review your feedback and consider the right way to move ahead.
‘We will be reaching out to work groups across the company, and the changes we make will better reflect your feedback.’
The program would have allowed employees enter a so-called ‘core4 Score Rewards’ prize drawing for cash prizes — between $2,000 and $40,000, vacations and luxury cars, with one employee to be awarded $100,000 in each draw.
According to media reports, employees who are currently eligible for a bonus can count on about $1,200 extra a year.
A Change-org petition on behalf of flight attendants complained of Kirby’s ‘generous signing bonus,’ while flight attendants had to sign a contract without even retroactive pay and planes that are being retrofitted to make more room for more passengers at the expense of employee areas. The protest letter also said a “point system” had been introduced that limited flexibility on sick calls, noting that employees had already been coming to work with the flu. And then while ‘industry friends’ at Jet Blue, Southwest, American AAL, Alaska Air, and Virgin America all got $1,000 tax-cut bonuses, United gave its employees nothing because ‘it already had a tax break,’ the employee petition said.”
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