Our 19,000-member-strong union stands firmly opposed to Donald Trump's Muslim ban. As an organization whose membership is largely Muslim, a workforce that's almost universally immigrant, and a working-class movement that is rooted in the defense of the oppressed, we say no to this inhumane and unconstitutional ban.
Professional drivers are over 20 times more likely to be murdered on the job than other workers. By sanctioning bigotry with his unconstitutional and inhumane executive order banning Muslim refugees from seven countries, the president is putting professional drivers in more danger than they have been in any time since 9/11 when hate crimes against immigrants skyrocketed.
We know all too well that when government programs sanction outright Islamophobia, and the rhetoric of hate is spewed from the bully pulpit, hate crimes increase and drivers suffer gravely. Our Sikh and other non-Muslim brown and black members also suffer from anti-Muslim violence.
Today, drivers are joining the protest at JFK Airport in support of all those who are currently being detained at the airport because of Trump's unconstitutional executive order. Drivers stand in solidarity with refugees coming to America in search of peace and safety and with those who are simply trying to return to their homes here in America after traveling abroad. We stand in solidarity with all of our peace-loving neighbors against this inhumane, cruel, and unconstitutional act of pure bigotry.
Seeing thousands of you stand up in defense of our strike and against Uber's greed has been so deeply moving. Striking is the hardest decision workers have to make, even when you win, because of the isolation that follows. Your solidarity brings us light in these dark times, in so many ways.
Uber, more than any other share-the-scraps company, has used liberal rhetoric to woo progressives all the while retaining three times more lobbyists than Wal-Mart to push for policies that keep workers poor. It's not shocking that Uber would put greed above social principles. It does that to drivers every day.
Now is the time for all those who value justice and equality to join together in holding Uber accountable, not only for its complicity with Trump's hateful policies but also for impoverishing workers.
Uber's greed and disregard for social values was evident before the company's CEO Travis Kalanick became an advisor to Donald Trump. And Uber drivers along with other professional drivers bear the brunt of that greed.
Make no mistake, the corporations leading the gig economy and the sharing economy will never be a part of the resistance. Backed by billions of dollars in Wall Street funding, these companies, including Uber and Lyft, are upending labor standards for which workers have spent centuries fighting. Sharing is the new euphemism for worker exploitation, meaning that workers share the scraps after corporations loot profits. Even as these corporations make million-dollar pledges today, they still refuse to abide by Minimum Wage laws.
We are a workforce that is predominantly Muslim and Sikh, a workforce that is predominantly black and brown, and a workforce that is increasingly impoverished. Uber and other so-called sharing economy actors are predicated on turning full-time jobs into part-time gigs, keeping workers impoverished and fragmented, making it harder to take action - at a loss to the workers and to civil society as we know it. That's why we are so incredibly proud of our members, including Uber drivers, who stood up to the injustice of the Muslim ban on Saturday.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance represents all professional drivers in New York City, uniting those who drive Yellow Cabs, Green Cars, and Black Cars, including app-dispatched drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft.
Let's hold Uber and every single corporation accountable for its greed-at-all-cost complicity in this inhumane policy and every such policy that follows. And let's equally hold them accountable for the policies of impoverishment.