Uber cuts more than 400 jobs, California introduces a bill that will require companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, and Toronto discusses banning e-scooters from its sidewalks.
Trending on all platforms is the news that Uber is cutting 435 jobs, roughly 8 per cent of its workforce. The cuts are largely contained to product and engineering teams in the U.S., the company announced. Last month, Uber slashed another 400 jobs across its marketing department. UberEats and Freight will not be impacted by the job cuts, Uber confirmed to TechCrunch. The publication says the layoffs came after Uber’s executive team decided its engineering and product teams needed a major shakeup to accommodate the rise of automation and to eliminate job duplication.
Speaking of Uber – California legislators have approved a bill that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees. The bill is meant to address the growing concern that the gig economy is becoming increasingly insecure. More people are entering into a contractor status with no access to protections such as minimum wage and unemployment insurance. Uber and Lyft, both of which have hundreds of thousands of drivers in California, told the New York Times that recognizing drivers as employees could destroy their business.
And lastly, the City of Toronto is trying to come up with a better plan to introduce e-scooters, and until it can, it’s barring them from the city’s sidewalks. Toronto Mayor John Tory says he doesn’t want an uncontrolled and undisciplined entry of e-scooters zipping into the market. Safety concerns and the potential for clutter on sidewalks were some of the other concerns raised at a recent committee meeting. The CEO of Bird Canada has since responded, saying being able to park e-scooters on the sidewalks is a key part of the e-scooter program. There wouldn’t be enough demand if this barrier was made official. In other cities where e-scooters have been introduced, the absence of proper docking stations has led to the scooters being abandoned in the middle of sidewalks, or in the lake. Lyons told the Toronto Star that this was a problem during the early days of the program, but it’s since been resolved. The program is currently active in Edmonton and Calgary, and is also going to launch in Montreal in the fall.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing.