LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Uber’s CEO faced a backlash Monday for his relationship with President Donald Trump and his action in response to a temporary ban on travel to the United States from seven majority Muslim countries.
In a Facebook post, Travis Kalanick said the ban could hurt “thousands” of Uber drivers, and he will raise his concerns directly with Trump in a business advisory group meeting Friday in Washington.
The co-founder of the ride-sharing service is being criticized for agreeing to sit on the advisory panel. But he said he joined out of the “belief that by speaking up and engaging we can make a difference.”
But much of the outrage stemmed from Uber’s move to charge less than it could as taxi drivers went on a one-hour strike so they could join a protest Saturday at JFK International Airport against the travel ban.
Critics took to Twitter and launched a #deleteUber campaign in retaliation for what they perceived as Uber’s way of profiting off the protests. Because no cab drivers were available to pick up or drop off passengers during the hour-long work stoppage, they would need Uber’s service.
On Sunday, Kalanick said he was emailing Uber drivers telling them he would “urge the government to reinstate the right of U.S. residents to travel — whatever their country of origin — immediately.”
He has also said the company will find a way to compensate and provide legal support to Uber drivers who are stuck overseas for the next three months because they cannot return to the U.S.
The company also promised to create a $3 million legal defense fund to help drivers with immigration and translation services.
Lyft said it will donate $1 million over the next four years to the American Civil Liberties Union, which successfully requested an emergency order approved by a federal judge Saturday that temporarily bars the U.S. from deporting people from the countries subject to Trump’s travel ban.
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