Ridesharing giant Uber has fired 200 of its 1,500 employees at its Amsterdam headquarters, according to a report by newspaper NRC on Saturday. The layoffs come just weeks after the company announced that 45 offices would be shut and 6,700 employees let go around the world as the company begins restructuring efforts following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
After weeks of negotiations between the company’s Dutch management and its works council, employees received an email on Friday stating that “those affected will be invited to an interview within 30 minutes,” adding that, “This is a very hard day for everyone, especially those who have to leave,” the newspaper reported.
Laid-off employees will receive two months’ salary and half a month’s salary for every six months they had been employed, sources told the newspaper, who added that the ridesharing giant had not tapped into the Dutch government’s NOW scheme. This would have cushioned the blow of the economic fallout by reimbursing a portion of labor costs.
However, a dispute remains within the company as to whether or not the layoffs would have been avoided had the company accepted government support. “It is our impression that the layoffs are decided centrally, without taking into account local support measures around Covid-19,” the works council wrote in a letter to the company’s management, according to NRC.
On May 18, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced to employees that the company would be laying off nearly a quarter of its entire global workforce in an effort to turn its focus toward its food delivery service, Uber Eats. Until Friday, it had seemed likely that the company’s Amsterdam headquarters would be spared much of the carnage.
Uber, the headquarters of which are in Amsterdam, announced plans back in February to move its headquarters to Tripolis Park on the Zuidas in 2022. The move, which was seen as testament to the company’s remarkable expansion, has now been left up in the air following the outbreak of Covid-19.