As thousands of Americans protested President Donald Trump's most recent executive order on immigration this weekend, Uber and Lyft found themselves battling it out to win over the support of protestors.
On Saturday, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote a Facebook post criticizing Trump's order, sharing an email he sent to employees in which he pledged to "stand up for what's right." In it, he pledged that Uber would compensate "pro bono during the next three months" any of the company's drivers affected by the ban.
Shortly thereafter, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance issued a statement on Facebook urging drivers not to pick up passengers at JFK Airport between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. (ET) in order to show their support for protesters. But Uber drivers continued to pick people up from JFK, and the company tweeted the message below:
Surge pricing has been turned off at #JFK Airport. This may result in longer wait times. Please be patient.-- Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) January 29, 2017
Meanwhile, Lyft CEO Logan Green tweeted: "Lyft has worked hard to create an inclusive, diverse, and conscientious community where all our drivers and passengers feel welcome. Trump's immigration ban is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values. We are donating $1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution."
Kalanick, who is a member of Trump's strategic and policy forum, was criticized by some for continuing Uber's services at JFK. Celebrities and other social-media users started urging others to remove the Uber app from their phone via the hashtag #DeleteUber--and to use Lyft instead.
When you go from living with a boyfriend to never speaking to him again pic.twitter.com/s5n2kGyG6r-- Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) January 29, 2017
On Sunday afternoon, Uber re-upped the companywide email Kalanick had sent, and an Uber spokesperson told CNBC that the company was "sorry for any confusion about our earlier tweet--it was not meant to break up any strike. We wanted people to know they could use Uber to get to and from JFK at normal prices, especially last night."
The #DeleteUber movement was reminiscent of the uproar several weeks ago, when President Trump tweeted to "Buy LL Bean," after the founder's granddaughter Linda Bean spoke out in support of Trump, and an advocacy group began urging consumers to boycott the company in protest.