Uber fired 14% of its employees with three minutes Zoom call
Uber has laid off 3,500 employees which is 14 per cent of its entire workforce, via a three minute Zoom call after the ride share app took a 80 per cent hit to bookings amid the corona virus pandemic. Covid-19 has affected taxi cab, ride share and most industries in United States of America and rest of the world in most unusual ways possible. As a matter of fact most taxis and their cab drivers in Augusta, GA are among others presently in line for unemployment payments from the government. Augusta airport which serves as major hub for many of the cab and ride share companies as of today has only about six incoming flights for the whole day in contrast to two flights every hour on average. Some taxi drivers have reported no income since march until this moment. Cabs are parked, no way to pay bills, some taxi owners are planning on filing for bankruptcy. It is a problem with no end in sight. American Taxi Cab of Augusta as a major cab service provider at Augusta airport is one of the taxicab companies affected by the worsen economy
In a call by the head of Uber’s Phoenix Centre of Excellence (its customer service office), Ruffin Chaveleau, told staff it was their last day.
“Our rides business is down by more than half. There is not enough work for many frontline customer support employees. [As a result] we are eliminating 3,500 frontline customer support roles,” Chaveleau said.
“Your role is impacted and today will be your last working day with Uber. You will remain on payroll until the date noted in your severance package.”
Chaveleau became teary as she apologized for telling employees via Zoom.
“No one wants to be on a call like this. With everyone remote and a change of this magnitude, we had to do this in a way that allowed us to tell you as quickly as possible so that you did not hear it from the rumor mill,” the head of customer service said.
“I also wanted to deliver this news personally and just take a brief moment to thank you for your contributions to Uber.”
Not one of the drivers was given any notice of the call.
“It was controlled. I would prefer to have had notice. The day before, we were told we would know in two weeks what departments would be let go,” an employee said.
“They gave us no notice. If I missed that Zoom call, I would have missed the news. We knew they didn't have the drivers' backs, but they don't have anyone's backs.”
The layoffs follow the company’s near $3 billion net loss announced last Thursday, as well as CEO Dara Khosrowshahi revealing he would forgo his salary for the rest of the year.
“While our rides business has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, we have taken quick action to preserve the strength of our balance sheet, focus additional resources on Uber Eats, and prepare us for any recovery scenario,” said Khosrowshahi.
The CEO said he felt “encouraged” that rideshare would recover soon.
“Along with the surge in food delivery, we are encouraged by the early signs we are seeing in markets that are beginning to open back up,” Khosrowshahi said.
“Our global footprint and highly variable cost structure remain an important advantage, as our expectation is that the Rides recovery will vary by city and country.”
Chief financial officer Nelson Chai said Uber was poised to weather the storm.
“Our ample liquidity provides us with substantial flexibility to navigate the current crisis, but we are being proactive and taking actions to emerge stronger and more focused as a company,” Chai said.
“We have recently exited eight unprofitable Eats markets, significantly reduced the size of our customer support and recruiting teams,” he said.
“Building on the steps we have already taken, we are continuing to look at all levers to ensure our core Rides and Eats businesses emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.”
In a memo sent to staff also obtained by the Mail, Khosrowshahi flagged more cuts could follow.
“We are looking at many scenarios and at each and every cost, both variable and fixed, across the company. We want to be smart, to move fast, to retain as many of our great people as we can, and treat everyone with dignity, support and respect,” he said.
“And with our hiring freeze...'there simply isn't enough work for recruiters.”American Taxi Cab of Augusta wishes those employees good luck in finding new jobs.