Employees told their jobs had been terminated 'effective immediately' in a three-minute Zoom call.
The Daily Mail has reported that ride-hailing company Uber had fired 3,500 employees via Zoom call. The laid-off employees, who represent 14 percent of the company’s workforce, heard the news in a call with Ruffin Chaveleau, head of Uber's customer service, who told them that the company’s business had dropped by over 50 percent and that there was not enough work for front-line customer support employees.
“As a result, we are eliminating 3,500 front-line customer support roles. Your role is impacted and today will be your last working day with Uber," she says in the video, a recording of which has been obtained by Daily Mail.
“I know that this is incredibly hard to hear. No one wants to be on a call like this. With everyone remote and a change of this magnitude, we had to do this in a way that allowed us to tell you as quickly as possible so that you did not hear it from the rumour mill. I also wanted to deliver this news personally and just take a brief moment to thank you for your contributions to Uber.”
Uber has been criticised for handling the job terminations the way it did, with a former employee telling the Daily Mail they were appalled at the lack of notice they had been given.
It does not seem to be an uncommon practice, however, with Verge reporting that 406 employees of scooter-sharing startup company Bird were also fired employees in a one-way Zoom call.
The manner in which Uber and Bird employees were informed their job terminations is in stark contrast to the process Airbnb followed.
The company announced plans to cut about 1,900 jobs, which roughly amounts 25 percent of its workforce, but did so in a message informing employees of its plans wherein the Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky announced the plans and assured employees that he would be “transparent and offer details so that everyone is fully aware of what’s happening.”