This weekend, thousands of protesters took to the streets across the United States following President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travellers from seven Muslim countries from entering the country.
Soon, the New York Taxi Alliance also joined in and urged drivers on social media not to take rides to and from John F Kennady Airport between 6 and 7pm (Eastern time) on Saturday, showing solidarity with those affected by the controversial ban.
Things took an ugly turn when the raid-hailing app Uber announced during the same time that it was slashing its prices by eliminating the “surge pricing, that normally kick in during periods of increased demand.
Despite the fact that the announcement to remove surge pricing came at 7:36pm (Eastern time), after the end of the scheduled taxi strike, many people started deleting Uber app from their smartphone suggesting that the company was trying to break up the strike or trying to profit off Trump’s 'Muslim ban'. Soon #deleteUber started trending on Facebook and Twitter as many people started sharing the screenshots of them deleting the app.
However, Uber denies any such allegations saying that it didn't halt surge pricing in order to drive more business.
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"We're sorry for any confusion about our earlier tweet — it was not meant to break up any strike," the company said in an email statement sent to Business Insider. "We wanted people to know they could use Uber to get to and from JFK at normal prices, especially last night."
Talking to Fortune, an Uber spokesperson said “the decision to turn off surge pricing was made specifically to avoid profiting from increased demand during the protest. The company has previously made a similar commitment to limiting surge pricing during disasters, after being accused of taking advantage of riders in times of need.”
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Later on Sunday, Uber head Travis Kalanick, who has faced opposition on social media for agreeing to be part of Trump’s advisory group, called the immigration ban “wrong and unjust” and said that Uber would create a $3 million fund to help drivers with immigration issues.
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