Uber India lays off 600 workers as Covid hits business

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Published: May 27, 2020 1:10 AM

The reduction in workforce has primarily impacted job roles in the driver and rider support segments, business development, legal, finance, policy and marketing verticals.

Uber is currently operational in 51 cities of the more than 70 cities where it provides its rides services.Uber is currently operational in 51 cities of the more than 70 cities where it provides its rides services.

Uber India on Tuesday said it has decided to let go of 600 permanent employees across operations due to the “impact of Covid-19 and the unpredictable nature of the recovery.”The downsizing is part of the global job cuts announced earlier this month, the company said in a statement. The reduction in workforce has primarily impacted job roles in the driver and rider support segments, business development, legal, finance, policy and marketing verticals. The total employee count prior to this exercise stood at nearly 2,400.

Public transport services in India had been in suspension since the imposition of the lockdown starting March 25. Cab aggregators like Uber and Ola were allowed to resume partial operations only in early May. After the government permitted more economic activities in the fourth phase of the lockdown, the companies restarted services in more cities. Uber is currently operational in 51 cities of the more than 70 cities where it provides its rides services.

US-headquartered Uber undertook two downsizing exercises earlier this month, slashing close to 6,700 jobs globally apart from reaching a decision to shut 45 offices. The job cuts are consistent with “lower trip volumes and hiring freeze”, Uber had said. “All together, the actions we’ve taken and the actions we intend to take in the near future will result in a reduction of more than $1 billion in annualised fixed cost versus our Q4 plan,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi had said during the company’s Q12020 results earnings call held in early May (and before the second round of layoffs were announced).

Last week, Uber India’s competitor Ola said it will cut 1,400 local jobs as the pandemic heavily weighed on revenues.

“We made the decision now so we can look to the future with confidence. I want to apologise to departing colleagues, and extend my heartfelt thanks to them for their contributions to Uber and the riders and driver partners we serve in India,” said Pradeep Parameswaran, president, Uber India and South Asia.

Uber said all impacted employees will receive a minimum of 10 weeks’ payout, medical insurance coverage for the next six months besides being extended outplacement support and the permission to retain their laptops.

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