Labor & Workforce

Uber India fires 600 employees over coronavirus impact

New Delhi, May 26 (efe-epa).- Uber India on Tuesday announced that it was laying off 600 of its employees, about one-fourth of its total workforce in the Asian country, over the impact of the crisis caused by the novel coronavirus.

The announcement came after the company’s domestic competitor, Ola, decided to cut 1,400 jobs earlier this month.

“The impact of Covid-19 and the unpredictable nature of the recovery has left Uber IndiaSA with no choice but to reduce the size of its workforce. Around 600 full time positions across driver and rider support, as well as other functions, are being impacted,” Uber India said in a statement.

Uber India confirmed to EFE that it had about 2,400 workers across the country before the announcement, so the amount of people affected by the recent layoffs would amount to nearly a quarter of its workforce.

The strict lockdown measures imposed by the Indian authorities since Mar.25 to check the spread of the coronavirus, which have since been significantly relaxed, led to a halt in operations of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Ola, along with most other economic activity in the country.

Each affected employee “will receive a minimum 10 weeks payout, medical insurance coverage for the next six months, outplacement support, be allowed to retain their laptops and given the option to join the Uber talent directory,” Uber India and South Asia President Pradeep Parameswaran said in the statement.

The company underlined that the workforce reduction was a part of the American multinational’s plan to fire 6,700 workers announced earlier this month.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the operations of the ride-hailing firm, which accumulated losses of $2.9 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

The current losses are three times higher than the $1.02 billion losses it recorded during the same period last year.

Last week, its Indian rival, Ola, announced laying off nearly 35 percent of its employees following a 95 percent reduction in income over the past two months.

Recent surveys have reported unemployment shooting up to alarming levels in India amid an unprecedented closure of nearly all businesses, and over 80 percent of households reporting a drop in income due to lockdown measures in place since Mar. 25.

India has so far recorded more than 140,000 COVID-19 cases in the country resulting in over 4,100 deaths, according to official data. EFE-EPA

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