Uber found itself under fire for the past week, as users on social media launched the #DeleteUber movement in response to the company’s actions following the announcement of President Donald Trump’s travel ban. That online protest led to more than 200,000 users to delete their Uber accounts, according to a report from the New York Times.
The backlash online came following Trump’s executive order that placed a ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. When cab drivers and members of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance opted to halt service and join protesters at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Uber dropped its surge pricing during the taxi strike.
The move was widely viewed as an attempt to break up the strike and profit off the passengers who were unable to get a cab during the protest, though Uber contests this.
In a statement to International Business Times following the backlash, a spokesperson for Uber said the tweet “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 tonight."
The economics that drive Uber also don’t necessarily add up to the idea that Uber was attempting to break up the strike. By dropping surge pricing, it makes picking up riders at the airport less appealing—though it also may have increased demand from riders in need.
Beyond the appearance of strike-breaking, Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick also has ties with President Trump thanks to his seat on the President’s economic advisory group.
Kalanick has since stepped down from his role on the advisory board, writing in an email to employees obtained by the New York Times, “There are many ways we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration, but staying on the council was going to get in the way of that.”
The exit from the council is the latest step in Uber’s image rehabilitation to make up for its perceived public position. Uber has also promised to set aside $3 million for a legal defense fund to help drivers with immigration and translation services, and promised to financially compensate drivers who are affected by the executive order for three months.
It’s not yet clear if those actions will be enough to bring riders back to the app, or if Uber will continue to hemorrhage customers as it continues to try to right the ship.