Some customers in Edmonton are joining a growing protest against action Uber took on the weekend and a link with President Donald Trump’s immigration laws.
As we reported yesterday, Donald Trump passed a controversial immigration order last week. His executive order on Friday banned the entry of immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim countries from entering the US. The order is set for 90 days, with Syrians banned indefinitely. In a twist to the story, Uber has received criticism for its response to the order, while rival company Lyft has won praise.
New York cab drivers joined in a protest against Trump’s order at JFK International Airport on Friday. However, Uber sent out a tweet saying that the company had suspended its surge pricing during this time. This essentially means customers could get a ride at the normal fare, which many consumers saw as Uber undermining the protest.
Ride-share competitor Lyft, on the other hand, kept out of the situation. However, the company did donate $1 million towards the American Civil Liberties Union. Lyft says the donation will be made over the next four years.
Uber apologised for the tweet and denied it was undermining the protest or had any links to Trump or his immigration plan. The ride-share company is walking a thin line because many of its drivers are from foreign nations and many of them Muslim. Uber is also locked in numerous court battles with drivers who want full employee rights.
Some Edmonton customers are now deleting their applications and are refusing to use Uber because of the company’s alleged ties with Donald Trump.
“If there’s something easy I can do that hits Uber’s bottom line and tells them we’re looking for more ethical companies, then I’ll do that — that’s why I’m deleting the Uber app,” said Troy Pavlek to Metro News, who is running for city council in ward 11 and is one of the first in Edmonton to adopt a hashtag that’s gaining global traction, #deleteuber.
The hashtag is reported to be gaining popularity online, suggesting more customers are abandoning Uber.
The news comes as it emerged that rival company Lyft was downloaded more times than Uber over the weekend, which is the first time that has ever happened. While the current customer backlash is unlikely to harm Uber considerably, the company will be seeking to ease tensions to avoid a wider protest.