As coronavirus continues to eat up revenues of businesses, ride sharing app Uber has handed pink slips to 3,500 full-time employees or about 14% of its total workforce over Zoom calls. “Today will be your last working day with Uber,” a company manager told employees over multiple Zoom calls with each lasting less than three minutes with the same common message, according to a footage obtained by Daily Mail. The company had last week announced that it will have to lay off 3,500 employees as it looks to cut costs and operating expenses as financial pressures mount due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Right now, the rides business is down by more than half due to COVID-19. The difficult and unfortunate reality is there is not enough work for many front-line customer-support employees,” Ruffin Chaveleau, Head of Uber’s Phoenix Center of Excellence, told the employees. The company is currently maintaining a hiring freeze as it is experiencing less than normal trip volumes in its rideshare segment. Owing to the same, it has decreased its customer support and recruiting teams. “With the reality of our rides trips volumes being down significantly, our need for communication operations, as well as in-person support, is down substantially. And with our hiring freeze, there simply isn’t enough work for recruiters,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a letter to staff. Dara Khosrowshahi has also announced that he will let go off his base salary in the wake of coronavirus crisis.
Uber isn’t the first company which has shown cracks in these dire times. Earlier, homestay and tourism company Airbnb said that it will have to reduce 25% of its workforce and nearly 1,900 people out of the company’s total 7,500 workforce will be axed. “Some very sad news. Today, I must confirm that we are reducing the size of the Airbnb workforce,” Airbnb co founder and CEO Brian Chesky said in a message to employees. Being a travel and tourism company, Airbnb has also witnessed a decline in its revenues this year and has forecasted that this year revenues will be less than half of what it earned in 2019.