Protests over President Trump’s Executive Orders concerning immigration are taking place at major airports across the United States this afternoon, and protestors in New York have found an additional foe: Uber. A surge in calls to delete the Uber app have gone viral across multiple social media platforms. But are they justified?
Uber and Trump Collusion?
Many are angry at a Uber CEO Travis Kalanick for a statement made last week that indicated at least tacit support for the new POTUS–
We’ll partner with anyone in the world as long they’re about making transportation in cities better, creating job opportunities, making it easier to get around, getting pollution out of the air and traffic off the streets.’
Kalanick is part of an advisory council to Trump whose stated aim is to improve urban mobility and create job opportunities. CEOs of Disney, Tesla, IBM, and GM are also part of this group, which describes itself as an “Urban Mobility Party” or “UMP”.
Anger that Kalanick had not repudiated the President produced a mini fire-storm on social media and a small protest at Uber HQ on Friday, but the company dug in its heels, stating–
As a company we’re committed to working with government on issues that affect riders, drivers and the cities where we operate. Just as we worked with the Obama Administration, we’ll work with the Trump Administration, too.
A whole internal struggle at Uber is going on now over Trump…you can read about it here (which is where I pulled the quotes from above).
Anger at JFK
But last night the anger toward Uber took on a whole new turn.
In solidarity for immigrants held at border checkpoints, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance announced a one-hour boycott of JFK from 6pm to 7pm last night.
That, not surprisingly, led to surge (high-demand) pricing on Uber. Claiming that Uber was profiting from the plight of refugees, protesters who had gathered at JFK’s Terminal 4 began deleting the Uber app from their phones and urging others to do the same.
Uber responded by promising to financially care for employees affected by the Executive Order and also turning off surge pricing at JFK.
Is an Uber Ban Appropriate?
I will not be boycotting Uber and applaud them for turning off surge pricing at JFK while still offering service to and from the airport. Why? Because there were no taxis and the AirTrain was closed by airport officials (before being eventually re-opened by the governor) for safety reasons. Uber was one of the only ways for protestors to get to JFK.
Further, whether you view Trump as a re-incarnation of Satan or Hitler or a great savior, I love Uber and want to see Uber proliferate and be better than ever. It has transformed the way I travel and the goals of “making transportation in cities better, creating job opportunities, making it easier to get around, getting pollution out of the air and traffic off the streets” should be met with bipartisan support.
I would love to hear your thoughts on whether you think Uber should be boycotted or not. More generally, is it morally coherent to work with someone on issues of commonality while condemning other actions, like the blanket immigration ban?
Lyft will donate $1,000,000 to the ACLU. I deleted my lyft app and will not use them again. There is no need to boycott Ueber as they are not liberal lap dogs
Ken, i deleted my Lyft app also and won´t be using uber either. America is under siege and we have a right to decided who can come and go from America. Canada is wide open. America First. MAGA .
Maybe we should round all these people up and put them in one central area? A place where they will all be concentrated in one place and not a threat to anyone! Truly an American Patriot y’all are.
Let’s be honest: you’re just butt-hurt that neither company would pick you up from the Klan rally tonight.
Uber and Lyft need to concentrate on getting me to where I’m going and trying to make money. Celebrities need to concentrate on entertaining me. Chick-Filet needs to concentrate on filling me up when I am hungry. Media needs to concentrate of reporting factual news, not their anti-Trump opinions.
These People should all STFU and do their jobs and stop being a bunch of whiny bitches and/or ass kissers (depending on their political affiliation) … No one cares what these people think, I just want to get to my destination/movie/dinner/news appointments on time – otherwise, “You’re Fired!
Hey, do you have a proofreader? “Employee’s effected?”
I suppose it’s easier to hit delete on an app then stand behind your word and move to Canada (why not Mexico?), so here’s to small victories.
I will be 79 years of age and watching these protestors react, makes a mockery of the United States of America! Picture the United States of America as your own home. Would you allow individuals onto your property without permission? Why would they have boundary lines on the property to determine who owns the property? To prevent trespassing, they put of fences, walls, gated communities. Everyone should respect our laws and non-Americans do NOT have the right o enter the United States of America. The President of the United States of America is trying to PROTECT your property and your family (its difficult to say NO to your children, but someone have to do it). I am reminded daily of the words (I WANT–WE WANT). We can’t take care of our own homeless and disabled individuals, and we are going deeper in debt and nearing 20 Trillion dollars. I am financially capable of handling almost ANY personal crisis and hope you will rethink which road you are taking. Grandpa
Sir, I think the people are protesting a complete ban on immigration for everyone from these 7 countries. The people affected have visas and are entering legally. They committed no crimes and are not on any watch list. Yes, illegal immigration is wrong but these are legal immigrants with many having dual citizenship in Europe and Canada. No citizen from the countries listed on the ban list committed a terrorist act in the USA. However, the countries of the 9/11 attackers are not even on the list. This ban plays into the hands of the terrorists. It is a propaganda gift for them. It is legal but is it just and moral?
Leviticus 19:33-34New International Version (NIV)
33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
Travis Kalanic needs to resign from Trumps Advisery Council. His company is bleeding from HUGE financial losses. Besides, he has violated his market making customers trust. It is reported that he is worth 6.3 billion dollars. It might be a good thing to warn all the Trump Adminitration billionaires, as well as the other wealthy supporters that they should also be accountable to the 65% of the American Voters who did not support him or his views of Americas future. SUPPORT LYFT!!!!
I’m sure there’s a niche for a “travel blogger” aligned with the current administration’s approach to governance. The trip report on your attendance at the inauguration provided a not-so-subtle clue as to your political affiliation. Now, with this post, which was innocuous in itself, you’ve brought forth, in the comments section, a sampling of folks willing to follow you down that path should yo so choose. I’m not certain that it’s a well-conceived strategy for nurturing your brand, in either the blogging arena or your award booking service.
Paul, please don’t read into my politics based on the posts here. I can assure you your assumptions are very incorrect.
Then I owe you an apology and make record of its delivery here. I’m sorry.
“Uber was one of the only ways for protestors to get to JFK.”
My understanding is that the surge pricing or lack thereof would only have affected people or protesters LEAVING JFK. Right? Because whether or not surge pricing is in effect in vicinity of JFK is not relevant to pricing in the zone where the ride is hailed. Just FYI.
But whatever. Uber making a tactical business decision, of whatever merit, doesn’t exactly rise to the level of f*ckedupedness as this executive branch.
Just one clarification- in NYC there are several surge-free options such as Juno, Gett, Via (SUV share). I almost never use Uber in NYC anyway because they (along with Lyft) surge at the most random times and because the drivers (who use multiple services) earn less.
Note: Sometimes you have to wait a few minutes longer as there are less drivers signed up v Uber, and I am not sure Juno can do airport pickups yet. Gett definitely can.
If you are supporting this boycott, please think carefully about who you are really hurting by not using Uber. Have you talked to your Uber driver? There’s a good chance that person is an immigrant from a Muslim country, like my husband. Our family detests Trump, his stance on immigration, and everything else about him, I’ve been going to protests and writing to our Congress members to try to keep our country from going backwards. I’m not a fan of the Uber CEO, but targeting him isn’t going to change anything in the Trump administration. But, it can do lots of damage to immigrant Muslim families and others whose only source of income is from the rides they give through Uber. Please consider the ramifications of your actions. Thank you.