Uber triggers protest for collecting fares during taxi strike against refugee ban

The Washington Post reports: Uber became the center of a political battleground Saturday after hundreds of Twitter users rallied behind the #DeleteUber hashtag to protest the company’s decision to continue operating while taxis decided to strike — refusing to pick up passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport in opposition to President Trump’s refugee ban.

By Sunday morning, rival Lyft had quickly seized on the issue, pledging to donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union, which successfully fought for a stay of the ban and secured the release of refugees who had been stranded in transit.

Lyft drivers also gave rides during the strike, but #DeleteUber began trending after Uber tweeted it was lifting surge pricing at JFK International Airport, where thousands had gathered to demonstrate against the ban.

Customers took it as evidence the company was trying to profit off of striking workers. Lyft had paused its surge pricing and continued to operate as well, a company spokeswoman said, but dozens of Uber customers said they would instead turn to that service.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a member of President Trump’s economic advisory group and has repeatedly pledged to work with the president to solve issues related to urban mobility, drawing the ire of activists who say such attitudes enable Trump’s actions. [Continue reading…]

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