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Coronavirus: Uber to cut 3,700 jobs as rides plunge

Uber said Wednesday that it will cut 3,700 jobs due to a sharp decline in its ride-hailing business brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Uber made the job cut announcement in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Uber said the positions being eliminated would come from its customer support and recruiting teams, and that it would incur about $20 million in severance and benefits costs related to the layoffs.

The company said the move was being made “in response to the economic challenges and uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the company’s business.” The job cuts equal about 14% of Uber’s total workforce.

In addition to the job cuts, Uber said Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi would waive the remainder of his base salary for the year. In 2019, Khosrowshahi received a base salary of $1 million.

Uber and its top rival, Lyft, have both seen their ride-hailing businesses eviscerated by a dropoff in rides since coronavirus cases began rising in March and shelter-in-place orders went into effect in an effort to contain the virus. Uber and Lyft both have both suspended shared ride service, and on Tuesday, Lyft announced a new option for cheaper fares for people willing to wait longer for their rides to arrive.

Uber’s job cut announcement also came one day after California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit against Uber and Lyft, charging the two companies with violating the state’s gig worker law due to how they have classified their drivers as contract workers instead of regular employees.

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Uber is also scheduled to give its first-quarter business report after the close of trading on Thursday.

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