United stiffs its staff with a no-bonus lottery


Not happy with stiffing customers, dragging them from their seats and beating them up, forcing them into ever smaller seats, twisting the arm of Congress to make fares and their regulations less transparent and more restrictive to the detriment of those passengers? Clearly not.

United, possibly the most cynical airline in the US if not the world (though it competes with BA for treatment of staff), has recently started pushing its staff through a team building and customer centric training programme. It’s been trying to get them to be more independently minded and think about the passenger, while being more pro-active rather than reactive in a difficult situation.

For that to work you’d have to keep staff on side and show them how valued they are. I mean that is what most businesses would do isn’t it?

In the twisted and cynical world of airline management, where Human Resources managers are clearly paid on the basis of ,”how stupid and moral sapping is the policy proposal I’m about to present”, United have decided on a gem. And staff aren’t exactly thrilled.

Annually, the average salaried United worker gets around $1200 in bonus payments for not being ill, being on time all the time, and performance related pay for a job well done.

Not any more. The United management have withdrawn the bonus – but hold on you could win – yes I said WIN – $100,000 instead in the airlines staff lottery!

Imagine how much money that will save the airline. For the price of less than 9 bonus payments, everyone gets equal chances to win big. And the airline wins biggest of all, saving itself millions in bonus pay!

At least one person will be happy. Donuts on you lucky winner, if you’re prepared to go public and let all your colleagues know your good fortune….

UPDATE: Two days later and United management withdraw the suggestions saying “they misjudged the way the idea would be received” – nice to see how in touch with your staff you are United!


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