Shortly after President Donald Trump signed his executive order to keep refugees and citizens from certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., taxi drivers took notice. The NY Taxi Workers Alliance called for an hourlong work stoppage at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to show their opposition to the ban.
But shortly after that, ride sharing app Uber tweeted that there wouldn’t be any surge pricing at the airport. That led some to conclude that the company was strike-breaking and trying to profit off of the protest. So users began deleting their Uber accounts and posting screenshots online as their own form of protest.
When Businesses Take Sides, It Can Be Risky
There are many different schools of thought when it comes to businesses taking sides or speaking up during times of controversy. Uber claims that they weren’t trying to break the strike. The company claims its CEO, who serves on a committee that advises the President on economic issues, actually opposes the ban. But if that’s the case, the company likely exhibited some poor timing and judgement.
Uber’s main U.S. competitor, Lyft, took the opposite approach, opposing the ban online and pledging to donate money made to the ACLU. Could this lead some former Uber customers too make the switch to Lyft or traditional cabs in protect as well? And how many of the young, city-dwelling ridesharing customers could be likely to make the switch permanently.
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