#DeleteUber is now trending on Twitter following protests of Donald Trump’s immigration ban. On Saturday evening, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance refused to pick up passengers at New York’s JFK airport for one hour as a form of protest of Trump’s latest executive orders.
The NYTWA called for other taxi drivers to protest in solidarity against the immigration ban since so many taxi drivers are from the countries listed in Trump’s “terror-prone” list.
Then, Uber’s New York Twitter account posted a tweet saying “Surge pricing has been turned off at #JFK Airport. This may result in longer wait times. Please be patient.”
Surge pricing causes the price for Uber rides to increase during certain times, especially when demand is high. For example, during New Year’s Eve, prices for Uber rides typically increase.
Many people took this as a sign that Uber was attempting to profit off of the NYTWA’s protest.
I’m a Lyft guy now. Lyft baby!!!!! #deleteuber pic.twitter.com/585D46XYSe
— Austin ? (@peacoatseason) January 29, 2017
By Sunday morning, Uber tweeted, “Last tweet not meant to break strike.” According to a statement issued to BuzzFeed News, Uber explained, “We’re sorry for any confusion about our earlier tweet — it was not meant to break up any strike. We wanted people to know they could use Uber to get to and from JFK at normal prices, especially tonight.”
Uber’s Co-Founder Response to the Immigration ban
Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, who is also part of Trump’s economic advisory team, released a statement regarding the president’s immigration ban. In the declaration, Kalanick joined other Silicon Valley giants in addressing how the travel ban would impact their employees.
“This order has far broader implications as it also affects thousands of drivers who use Uber and come from the listed countries, many of whom take long breaks to go back home to see their extended family,” Kalanick explained in a Facebook post. “These drivers currently outside of the U.S. will not be able to get back into the country for 90 days. That means they will not be able to earn a living and support their families—and of course they will be separated from their loved ones during that time.”
In response, Kalanick plans on compensating those drivers during the next three months to decrease the amount of stress the immigration ban will have on them. “We are working out a process to identify these drivers and compensate them pro bono during the next three months to help mitigate some of the financial stress and complications with supporting their families and putting food on the table. We will have more details on this in the coming days,” Kalanick said.