Customers #DeleteUber for Exploiting the Muslim Ban

This post is also available in: French

Pro-immigrant customers are joining the #DeleteUber trend, boycotting the popular transportation service after the company tried to exploit a strike made in solidarity of refugees affected by the Muslim ban.

Last night, The NY Taxi Workers Alliance held a strike at JFK International Airport to protest the GOP’s ban on Muslim refugees. The alliance urged taxi drivers not to pick anybody up at JFK, but to join the protest instead.

While other people saw a beautiful display of solidarity in the face of bigotry, Uber saw a business opportunity. The company announced it was going to shut off surge pricing, a standard Uber practice of raising rates during peak business hours. In other words, Uber was going to offer its service more cheaply than usual.

Activists accused Uber of scabbing and trying to break the Taxi workers’ strike. They said that Uber was attacking workers’ rights and inadvertently supporting the Muslim ban.

Immediately, the hashtag #DeleteUber began trending, as customers closed their Uber accounts in disgust at the company’s response to the protest. Consumers also complained of Uber’s exploitative labor practices, and of CEO Travis Kalanick‘s close relationship with Trump.

Uber claimed it wasn’t trying to break the strike. But people were not convinced.

Meanwhile, Lyft, an alternate transportation app, saw an opportunity for good publicity. The company announced it was donating $1 million to the ACLU. Some consumers hailed the move and pledged to switch to Lyft:

Others pointed out that Lyft has sleazy labor practices as well, and isn’t really a great alternative.

Uber’s CEO also defended his ties to the Trump administration, saying:

We partner around the world optimistically in the belief that by speaking up and engaging we can make a difference. Our experience is that not doing so shortchanges cities and the people who live in them. This is why I agreed in early December to join President Trump’s economic advisory group along with Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla), Mary Barra (Chairwoman/CEO of General Motors), Indra Nooyi (Chairwoman/CEO of Pepsi), Ginni Rometty (Chairwoman/CEO of IBM), Bob Iger (Chairman/CEO of Disney), Jack Welch (former Chairman of GE) and a dozen other business leaders.