After Employee Uproar, United Pauses Plan to Give Out $100K

Employees revolted against idea of losing bonuses in favor of lottery
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2018 8:47 AM CST
In this Sept. 9, 2015, file photo, a United Airlines jet lands at Newark Liberty International Airport.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans, file)

(Newser) – The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and hell is what United Airlines employees raised following Friday's announcement that the quarterly bonus program would be replaced 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," said United Airlines President Scott Kirby on Monday in announcing a "pause" on implementing the new lottery, which was to give away $100,000, Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans, and other cash and vacation prizes.

The New York Times reports that in 2017, employees earned roughly $87 million in bonuses, though that includes amounts earned by executives; the lottery system, which would benefit just 1,361 winners out of roughly 86,000 employees, would have cost about $18 million, meaning United potentially stood to save millions. A comment from a United flight attendant picked up by the Chicago Business Journal suggested the savings would be about $32 million per year. (Read more United Airlines stories.)

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