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Coronavirus effects drive Uber to fire 3700 via Zoom

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Large companies like Starbucks, Uber, Facebook and Apple are mobilizing to help healthcare workers face the coronavirus pandemic.

USA TODAY

The new standard during the coronavirus pandemic means that you do your homework for a lot. The other side of the coin? Jobs can be interrupted remotely, as about 3,700 Uber employees recently learned from Zoom.

Uber used popular teleconferencing software to hold several meetings last week to notify employees of the layoffs. The British newspaper The Daily Mail first reported the news and acquired a video of one of the calls.

“Letting employees go is never easy or simple, and it has only been truer during this unprecedented period, when we all work from home in dozens of cities and countries,” said the carpool company in a statement sent to the United States today. . “We have focused on providing the clearest and most empathetic experience possible and have put in place a solid starting plan and other benefits. “

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In the leaked video, Ruffin Chevaleau, head of the Uber Phoenix Center of Excellence in Scottsdale, Arizona, is seen telling viewers that Uber’s business is down more than half. “With the volume of travel down, the difficult and unfortunate reality is that there is not enough work for many front line customer support workers,” she said. “As a result, we are removing 3,500 front-line customer support roles. Your role is impacted and will be your last day of work with Uber today. “

Viewers will remain on the payroll until a date in their severance pay, she said. In total, the 3,700 employees worked in 46 countries; As the offices were closed due to the pandemic, it was decided to inform employees via Zoom.

“I know it’s incredibly difficult to hear,” said Chaveleau, who seemed moved. “No one wants to be on a call like this. With everyone at a distance and a change of this magnitude, we had to do it in a way that allowed us to tell you as quickly as possible so as not to hear it from the rumor “mill. “

The job cuts were not unexpected. Last week, the carpool giant announced plans to cut 3,700 jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The jobs in the company’s customer support and recruiting teams were cut as Uber saw its global tourism activity decline 80% in April, the company announced last week. (At the same time, its Uber Eats food delivery business has grown significantly.)

“We are focusing on navigating through this crisis that leaves us absolutely in a position, a stronger position, as the world begins to recover,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Monday call with analysts. He said he would give up his base salary due to the crisis.

He went on to say that the company was facing “tough decisions like cutting costs … (and) decisions like refocusing some of the investments we make to make sure we are focused on our hearts. And we believe driving-sharing as a category will rebound when the recovery begins and will be one of the first services to rebound as cities restart. ”

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

Read or share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2020/05/11/coronavirus-effects-lead-uber-laying-off-3-700-via-zoom/3113512001/



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