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Uber CEO Says Some Furloughed U.S. Federal Workers Became Drivers to Make Ends Meet
FinTech, Financial Services
With the U.S. government in the midst of its longest shutdown in history – now 33 days as of this writing – more than 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed and gone without pay for over a month.
It’s not surprising then that Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC in an interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos that many of those furloughed government workers have now become temporary drivers for the ride-sharing company in an effort to make ends meet.
“We love it when new driver partners join the platform, but this is most definitely not how we want new driver partners to join the platform,” Khosrowshahi told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” from the World Economic Forum in Davos. “We haven’t quantified [how many new drivers have joined], but it’s definitely happening in D.C., and it’s happening to the most needy. We’re hoping that this ends.”
Khosrowshahi notes that there isn’t much red tape in becoming a temporary Uber driver, as “anyone with a car, a license and a clean criminal record can download the app and get started.”
On a related note, the government shutdown – which has been caused by a clash between President Trump and congressional Democrats over funding for a border wall between the United States and Mexico – could cause delays in Uber’s planned initial public offering this year. The biggest roadblock for companies pursuing an IPO this year is the partial closure of the Securities and Exchange Commission during the shutdown, which has created a rare scenario in which no companies will debut on the market in January and will cause a backlog of paperwork once it does reopen.
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