Photo from Uber

After a public relations disaster of a viral video showing Uber employees packing up their offices, Grab made an emergency U-turn declaring that nobody is fired and “all of Uber’s 500-plus employees” across Southeast Asia.

Grab however admitted that the Uber employees are forced to take paid annual leaves in the interim before they are fully assimilated as Grab employees.

Grab’s HR head Ong Chin Yin said the “misunderstanding” was due to them not having the email addresses of the Uber employees:

“We wanted to reach out to them today, but were not able to do so today unfortunately.”

An emergency town hall meeting was also organised at 4.30pm today (Mar 27) to “prevent further confusion”.

Owned by China and Japan’s Softbank, with only a minority shareholder by Temasek Holdings, the taxi application company promised to offer compensation packages for those who are retrenched:

“Grab will organise Uber employees into teams similar to while they were in Uber, and that they will be offered terms that are substantially similar packaged. For those who do not take up the offer, Grab will work out a compensation package with them.”

Grab has earlier wooed ComfortDelgro for a link up to develop the car sharing app for their taxi drivers, but the Temasek Holdings owner foolishly chose Uber and even paid S$652 million for the purchase of Uber’s Lion City Rentals. Lion City Rentals is currently closed pending further notice, meaning that the Singapore sovereign wealth fund company has tossed more than half a billion into the drain.