Uber employees laid off in three-minute Zoom video call
Uber laid off 3500 people in a three-minute Zoom call last week.
“Today will be your last working day with Uber,” company manager Ruffin Chevaleau informed some of the axed customer support employees in one video phone call, according to footage obtained by the Daily Mail.
“Right now, the rides business is down by more than half due to COVID-19,” said Ms Chevaleau, who helps oversee customer service for Uber. “The difficult and unfortunate reality is there is not enough work for many frontline customer support employees.
“As a result, we are eliminating 3500 frontline customer support roles,” she said, which accounts for about 14 per cent of ride-share app’s workforce.
“I know that this is incredibly hard to hear,” Ms Chevaleau said, fighting to choke back tears. “No one wants to be on a call like this. I know that this is a lot to take in.”
She said she was giving the devastating news in a video phone call because she “wanted to deliver this news personally”.
“You will remain on payroll until the date notice of your severance package,” the manager said before turning the call over to a human resources representative.
A company source told The New York Post on Monday that the online encounter was one of “tens of” video calls made by “various leaders in the organisation” – and that the lay-offs were made this way “since our offices are closed due to COVID-19 and because these lay-offs affected people across 46 countries”.
One of the axed workers later told the Mail: “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.
“If I missed that Zoom call, I would have missed the news.”
The company later said in a statement: “It’s never easy or uncomplicated to let employees go, and that’s only been more true during this unprecedented period, where we are all working from home across dozens of cities and countries.
“We’ve focused on providing the clearest, most empathetic experience possible and have put together a strong severance package and other benefits.”
The company last week filed a document with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission saying it planned to lay off 3700 full-time workers because of the “economic challenges and uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Company CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also agreed to waive the rest of his base salary for the year, the filing said. The exec’s salary was around $1 million last year, although much of his compensation is through stock.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission