Uber closes Los Angeles support office, outsources tasks to Manila office

MANILA, Philippines – Ridesharing firm Uber abruptly closed its Los Angeles customer support center, laying off some 80 employees and outsourcing the jobs to its Manila customer support office. 

According to the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, February 18, Uber manager Ruffin Chevaleau acknowledged the short notice of the closure meeting in a recording the Times obtained. Chevaleau is a lead at Uber's Phoenix customer support office.

“We have decided to close the downtown L.A. office and we will be moving the outreach and innovation work to our Manila COE, where we can continue to support the business as it grows,” Chevaleau said. The customer support hubs are known internally as Centers of Excellence (COE).

“I know that this is a shock. This meeting is to inform you all that today is the last day in this office,” she added.

A Reuters report added Uber confirmed the closure in an emailed statement. 

The customer support staff was paid hourly and did driver outreach – with drivers and riders considered customers by the company. The support tasks included document processing, account issue resolution, and explaining incentives and promotions for the drivers.

The workers, Chevaleau said, would get severance packages and could apply for jobs within Uber and meet with a recruiter. She added Uber would also cover relocations for those who found jobs in other Uber offices. 

Uber's operations employees, housed in its Santa Monica offices, were not affected by the job cuts. – Rappler.com

Victor Barreiro Jr.

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