On Saturday night, thousands of protesters around the country flooded airports to speak out against President Donald Trump’s newly signed executive order barring travelers from seven countries. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance quickly showed its support, calling on social media for drivers to avoid John F. Kennedy International Airport between 6 and 7 pm Eastern time on Saturday.
BREAKING: NYTWA drivers call for one hour work stoppage @ JFK airport today 6 PM to 7 PM to protest #muslimban! #nobannowall — NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) January 28, 2017 The app Uber, however, took a very different approach, saying at 7:36 pm on Twitter that it was lowering prices — by eliminating “surge pricing” — around JFK Airport. Surge pricing has been turned off at #JFK Airport. This may result in longer wait times.
Please be patient. — Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) January 29, 2017 Even though the surge pricing announcement came after the scheduled taxi strike, many people on social media took it to suggest that Uber was trying to break up or counteract the strike and acting in support of — or at least trying to profit off — Trump’s “Muslim ban. ” In response, the Twitter hashtag #DeleteUber quickly took off, with people posting screenshots of them deleting the Uber app from their phones.
i never used it in NYC for a lot of reasons but they won’t see a goddamned penny from me ever again #deleteuber pic. twitter. — matt ◉ lubchansky (@Lubchansky) January 29, 2017 Uber has since said that it wasn’t trying to come out in support of Trump’s executive order, break up the strike, or profit from the situation.
“We’re sorry for any confusion about our earlier tweet — it was not meant to break up any strike,” the company told Business Insider. “We wanted people to know they could use Uber to get to and from JFK at normal prices, especially last night. ” An Uber spokesperson also told Fortune that “the decision to turn off surge pricing was made specifically to avoid profiting from increased demand during the protest.
The company has previously made a similar commitment to limiting surge pricing during disasters, after being accused of taking advantage of riders in times of need. ” Prior to the strike, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick spoke out against the executive order on Facebook. He also said that the company will financially compensate employees affected by the order — meaning those who are overseas and unable to reenter the US — during the at least three months the ban is active.
(function( d, s, id) (document, ’script’ ’ ’)); This afternoon I sent the email below to Uber employees and thought I would include here: Subject: Standing up for what. ..
Posted by Travis Kalanick on Saturday, January 28, 2017 But the statement came out before the strikes, and it didn’t seem to mitigate much of the rage against the company. Lyft, Uber’s main competitor, has meanwhile responded in a different way to Trump’s order, vowing to donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union, a civil rights group that is fighting the ban in court. As of Sunday afternoon, people are still posting screenshots showing them deleting the Uber app off their phones.
Watch: Donald Trump’s executive order, explained .