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Delete Uber

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I’ve railed against Uber for a long time. As a company that seeks to profit off of not providing its employees any protection, basically exploiting independent contractor law to place all the burden on employment on its own drivers, it’s a model for work that we do not need, even as the traditional taxi companies have their own problems and competition to that would help everyone if done in the right way. But this is a company that actively seeks to undermine worker solidarity for a little more money. On Saturday, when the JFK protest was happening, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance pulled their workers off the road for an hour in an act of solidarity. Uber’s response was to suspend its surge pricing during the action in order to take advantage of the opporutnity. That was pretty disgusting, but Uber’s CEO has no problem with anything Trump is doing, or just doesn’t care. That’s led to the #DeleteUber consumer action. And while I have never had the Uber app on my phone, nor would I as I would walk rather than use it, this is the kind of consumer action that can at the very least make corporations realize that a) the Trump administration is not OK and b) their success depends on respecting that fact.

Customers took it as evidence the company was trying to profit off of striking workers. Lyft had continued to operate as well but did not turn off its surge pricing, a company spokeswoman said; 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. Kalanick expressed concern with the ban in a memo to employees Saturday, saying it would affect “many innocent people,” and that the company would explore how to compensate impacted employees for three months.

The order “affects thousands of drivers who use Uber and come from the listed countries, many of whom take long breaks to go back home to see their extended family,” Kalanick said. “That means they will not be able to earn a living and support their families—and of course they will be separated from their loved ones during that time.”

Kalanick said he planned to raise the issue with Trump at a Friday meeting of the advisory group.

Yeah, sure you will. In any case, there are 2 points to make here. First is that we should boycott any company whose representative serve the fascist destroying American democracy. Second, Lyft is just smarter about all of this and donated money to organizations opposing the ban, but isn’t really any better in terms of its larger impact on the labor market or how it seeks to profit off contractor laws. Our real principles here should be justice for all and that means justice for drivers as well.

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