In November United Airlines supported California Proposition 16, which would have allowed considering race in decisions on public employment, educational admittance, and government contracting. (The ballot measure failed.) At the time United said,
United is deeply committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within our company as well as endorsing political action that supports furthering those efforts in citizens’ everyday lives.
…As an organization made of a diverse workforce, we are proud to support legislation that furthers the success of underrepresented communities.
When United furloughed 16,000 employees they didn’t use race as a factor. However this fall they did commit to choosing board members based on race.
Now they’re reminding employees about United Airlines speech codes, which threaten termination for criticizing anyone on social media on the basis of a protected category.
We work to promote a safe and inclusive environment. It’s valuable to bring together people from different backgrounds who express different views, but we need to pay attention to our words and how they may impact our diverse population of employees and customers.
It’s not okay to say (or post) things that are offensive or racially charged. This applies when using social media, when posting comments on Flying Together, and when simply having conversations. And where social media is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether your post is public or within a closed group – nothing on the internet is truly private or anonymous.
Use common sense and good judgment, and if you have any doubt about whether or not what you’re saying or posting may be offensive, you probably want to avoid it.
…It’s never okay to criticize others on the basis of race, gender, age or any other protected category. This includes conduct within the workplace, as well as outside of the workplace and on social media. We take this very seriously. Employees who violate this policy may be subject to discipline up to and including termination.
At United Airlines, if you aren’t sure whether someone might think your speech is offensive then you aren’t supposed to say it. For the record Luc Bondar, as a MileagePlus member I find talk of devaluation offensive. I’m not usually in favor of chilling speech, but if it avoided mileage devaluations I’d change my mind.
United Airlines has transformed itself into the woke hub-and-spoke carrier. If United’s moves to support affirmative action and crack down on offensive speech appeal to you, consider that maybe corporations aren’t your enemy after all.