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Customers boycotting Starbucks, Uber over travel ban

Posted: 8:59 PM, Jan 30, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-31 05:57:06-05
Customers boycotting Starbucks, Uber over travel ban

Customers of Uber and Starbucks are planning boycotts because of the companies' responses to Donald Trump's executive order effectively banning citizens of seven countries from entering the United States. 

Uber customers have been deleting the mobile phone application en masse after Uber continued servicing rides to JFK Airport during a large protest there over the executive order. New York City's taxi drivers refused to service the airport Saturday evening in an act of solidarity with the protesters. 

Also, some Uber customers were upset that the company's CEO Travis Kalanick participated in an economic forum with Trump. Kalanick defended meeting with Trump in an email to employees on Sunday. 

"We’ve taken the view that in order to serve cities you need to give their citizens a voice, a seat at the table," Kalanick said. "We partner around the world optimistically in the belief that by speaking up and engaging we can make a difference. Our experience is that not doing so shortchanges cities and the people who live in them. This is why I agreed in early December to join President Trump’s economic advisory group."

Kalanick added that the company estimates that 12 drivers are unable to return to the United States due to the travel ban. He said that Uber would pay for drivers' lost salaries and legal assistance. But some believe the gestures do not go far enough, and are opting to use Uber's top competitor, Lyft. 

Lyft was the fourth most downloaded app on Apple's App Store on Monday. 

Meanwhile, Starbucks customers are boycotting the coffee chain for promising to hire 10,000 refugees across the world over the next five years. The program is similar to one Starbucks launched in 2014 to hire 10,000 US veterans by 2018. 

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said on Sunday that the company stands for refugees and children brought to the nation by parents who are undocumented immigrants. Schultz decried the administration's decision to stop refugees and immigrants from the seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

"In the face of recent events around the world, let me assure you that we will stay true to our values and do everything we can possibly do to support and invest in every partner’s well-being while taking the actions that are squarely within our ability to control," Schultz said in a statement. "This is our focus: providing a Third Place of respite for those around the world who seek it, daily."

While Starbucks has received a lot of praise for taking its stand, some are encouraging a boycott of the company.