Denouncers of President Trump are deleting their phone app for the ride-sharing service Uber because of actions the company took during the protest at JFK airport where two Iraqis were detained after the new president's controversial executive order.
When taxi cab drivers went on strike and didn't take rides or fares around the airport in protest, Uber announced that they wouldn't implement "surge pricing," which means they wouldn't increase prices even though there was a greater demand for rides. This spurred many to accuse them of busting the strike and supporting Trump's ban on immigration from terror-stricken countries. They also cited his acceptance of a position on Trump's economic advisory board as evidence that he was "colluding" with the administration.
The company announced the lower fare pricing on Twitter:
Protesters encouraged those who opposed Trump's immigration ban to start deleting the app from their phones as an act of defiance.
In what appeared to be a response to the public outrage, the CEO of Uber Travis Kalanick posted a statement about the ban:
Kalanick said that they would compensate employees affected by the ban for three months pro bono:
Our People Ops team has already reached out to the dozen or so employees who we know are affected: for example, those who live and work in the U.S., are legal residents but not naturalized citizens will not be able to get back into the country if they are traveling outside of the U.S. now or anytime in the next 90 days. Anyone who believes that this order could impact them should contact our immigration team immediately.
And he addressed public outrage that he had joined Trump's economic advisory board:
I understand that many people internally and externally may not agree with that decision, and that’s OK. It’s the magic of living in America that people are free to disagree. But whatever your view please know that I’ve always believed in principled confrontation and just change; and have never shied away (maybe to my detriment) from fighting for what’s right.
Trump's ban on immigration from terrorist-stricken countries caused confusion at airports as even those with green cards were detained, and protesters began demonstrating against the executive action. On Saturday evening a federal judge granted a stay on the order and halted Trump's ban but it only applies to those who are physically in the United States. The legality of Trump's order is sure to be hotly debated as the courts determine its future.