Cab aggregator Ola on Wednesday became the latest company to lay off employees, as the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus has significantly reduced its revenues, PTI reported. Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said the layoffs were a result of a significant dip in the company’s revenues because of the prolonged shutdown.

A number of other companies, including cab aggregator Uber, food delivery services Swiggy and Zomato, and some media firms have fired employees over the past two months, despite a government appeal not to do so.

Here is a list of some companies that have laid off their employees or have enforced salary cuts to deal with the reduction in revenue due to the pandemic:

  • Ola on Wednesday said the company will lay off 1,400 employees. The announcement was made by Aggarwal in a note to his employees. The government had suspended all ride-hailing services in March, along with all other forms of public transport, while enforcing the lockdown.
  • Twitter-backed ShareChat, an Indian video-sharing social networking service, laid off 101 employees on Wednesday, as it expects the advertising market to be unpredictable this year, The Economic Times reported.
  • United States-based commercial real estate company WeWork said on Tuesday that it laid off 100 employees, or 20% of its workforce in India, in an attempt to cut costs and revamp operations, Reuters reported.
  • Food delivery company Swiggy on Monday announced that it will lay off 1,100 employees, or nearly 14% of its total workforce, after demand for online food ordering dipped significantly in the past two months.
  • Indian restaurant aggregator Zomato on May 15 laid off 13% of its workforce and said it would implement salary cuts of up to 50% across the organisation for at least six months. 
  • On May 6, a report said that cab aggregator Uber had decided to sack 500 to 700 employees from its India office due to a sharp decline in revenues. The firm has also decided to sack around 6,500 employees globally.
  • Reliance Industries announced pay cuts of up to 50% for some top oil-and-gas division employees on April 30. Employees earning more than Rs 15 lakh a year will face a 10% cut while senior executives will have to take 30% to 50% salary cuts. Chairperson Mukesh Ambani decided to forgo his entire salary for the year.
  • On April 22, hotel chain Oyo Rooms said it would cut the salaries of all employees by 25% for four months, and also sent some of its people on leave with limited benefits, Reuters reported. Earlier in April, the company had laid off thousands of employees in the United Kingdom and the United States.   
  • On April 14, Times Life, a Sunday supplement produced by the Times of India, asked three of its employees to leave. Two editors and a designer were verbally informed of their sacking. The supplement had a total of six editors and two designers before the layoffs. Some employees of print editions have also reportedly been asked to leave. The Times of India has also instituted pay cuts across the board.
  • On April 13, news website The Quint sent 45 employees on indefinite leave without pay, Newslaundry reported. The affected employees were to be paid half their salaries for the month of April. The unpaid leave started from April 15. 
  • On April 10, News Nation Network suddenly laid off its entire English digital team of 15. The employees were not given a termination notice, nor were they allowed to serve their notice periods. 
  • The Indian Express had on April 1 asked its employees to take a “temporary salary cut”. In an internal email, Chief Executive Officer George Varghese called the current situation “absolutely unprecedented”. Chief Editor Raj Kamal Jha, Chairperson Anant Goenka and Director Vaidehi Thakkar took a 100% pay cut.

The Supreme Court had on April 27 expressed concern at the layoffs and salary cuts by some media organisations. The court issued a notice to the Centre on a petition filed by the National Alliance of Journalists, the Delhi Union of Journalists and the Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists, opposing the layoffs and pay cuts.

India on Wednesday recorded its biggest daily rise of 5,611 new coronavirus cases, taking the total in the country to 1,06,750. With 140 new fatalities, the toll rose to 3,303.

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