Uber CEO tweets that the company will donate $1 million to groups 'making criminal justice in America more just for all'
On Sunday, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced that the ride-share company is donating $1 million dollar to two criminal justice reform groups. The donations will go to the Center for Policing Equity, a think tank that supports police transparency and equity, and the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that fights mass incarceration. Khosrowshahi is not the first tech CEO to speak out in the wake of the Floyd George killing and nation-wide unrest, but Uber is the first tech company to make such a large donation. Uber has recieved criticism for the ways it has handled social justice issues in the past, inlcuding the #DeleteUber campaign that caused hundreds of thousands to leave the platform. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced on Sunday that the company would be donating a total of $1 million to two criminal justice reform groups "in solidarity with the Black community and with peaceful protests." Khosrowshahi made the comments on Twitter, condemning racism and inequality, and endorsing reform for the American criminal justice system.
Khosrowshahi said that Uber plans to donate to two groups, the Center for Policing Equity, a think tank that supports police transparency and equity, and the Equal Justice Initiative, a group that fights mass incarceration and operates the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. The news comes after five days of sustained and escalating nationwide protests against the police killing of Floyd George. Earlier on Sunday, Amazon tweeted out its own statement of support for the protestors. On Saturday, T-Mobile, Microsoft Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan, and Zillow CEO Rich Barton all tweeted their own statements of support, while Twitter posted a message earlier in the week. Uber is the first to announce a direct donation. Of course, Uber has previously recieved criticism for its social justice record. A 2016 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that Uber drivers are more than twice as likely to cancel a ride if they believe that the passenger is black. Uber's chief people officer resigned in 2018 over allegations that she mishandled an investigation into racial discrimination. Uber recieved widespread criticism for breaking a strike and even using surge prices during a New York protest against President Donat Trump's travel ban in 2017. The #DeleteUber hashtag that ffollowed led hundreds of thousands of users to delete the app, even earning a place as a potential risk factor in the company's S-1 filing before its 2019 IPO. Khosrowshahi joined the company in 2017, replacing embattled founder Travis Kalanick.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How the Navy's largest hospital ship can help with the coronavirus
But it's clear that lasting change will only come from reforming the systems that have led us to where we are today. To that end, we're donating $1M to @ejiorg and <a href="https://twitter.com/PolicingEquity?refsrc=twsrc%5Etfw">@PolicingEquity to support their important work in making criminal justice in America more just for all. (2/2)— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) May 31, 2020
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The 1994 crime bill paved the way to mass incarceration of Black Americans. Biden says his...The 1994 crime bill paved the way to mass incarceration of Black Americans. Biden says his support was a ‘mistake’In 1994, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware stood proudly behind Bill Clinton as he signed into law a reform bill that touched nearly every aspect of the US criminal justice system. Related: Trump trails Biden with two weeks to go – but there could yet be surprises Continue reading...
Uber's CEO took a shot at labor groups, accusing them of being driven by 'politics' in the massive fight over drivers' employment status (UBER, LYFT)
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi slammed labor groups that oppose the company's stance on drivers' employment status,...Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi slammed labor groups that oppose the company's stance on drivers' employment status, accusing them of being motivated by "politics." During a call with investors Thursday, Khosrowshahi said groups on Uber's side of the issue, conversely, "actually are taking into account the wants and needs of drivers." Uber and other gig economy companies are engaged in a massive legal and political battle, most notably in California, over whether their drivers are employees or independent contractors. The state's regulators have ruled that drivers are employees under its gig worker law and have taken Uber and Lyft to court over the issue, while the companies have pumped $30 million each into a ballot measure that would exempt them from the law. The stakes are high — analysts said last year that an adverse ruling on the issue could bankrupt Uber and Lyft. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took a shot at labor and driver advocacy groups on Thursday over their stance on drivers' employment status, accusing them of not representing drivers' interests. During Uber's quarterly earnings call, Khosrowshahi said groups opposing Proposition 22 — the company's ballot measure in California that would permanently make drivers independent contractors — are motivated by "politics." "We've got terrific supporters [of Proposition 22] in the community as well who actually care about drivers, versus labor unions and politics, they actually are taking into account the wants and needs of drivers," he said. Labor and driver groups pushed back on Khosrowshahi's comments. "It is the height of hypocrisy for Uber's rich executives to feign that they care about drivers when they are spending hundreds of millions on a ballot proposition to prevent those workers from receiving the wages, healthcare, and fundamental rights that they have been granted under California law," Transport Workers Union president John Samuelsen told Business Insider. Carlos Ramos, a driver and organizer for Gig Workers Rising, said: "From my years of organizing with fellow drivers I can unequivocally say that Dara's words do not reflect Uber's actions. They never have. Uber has always attempted to deceive drivers around new policies and procedures, claiming that changes were made in the best interest of drivers." In California, Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hail and food delivery companies are in the middle of a heated battle over whether drivers are employees or contractors under the state's gig worker law, AB-5, which went into effect this year and raised the bar companies must clear in order to treat workers as contractors. While the lawmakers behind AB-5 argued it made Uber drivers employees, the companies have refused to reclassify drivers, sparking multiple legal and political battles over the issue. In June, the state agency responsible for regulating Uber and Lyft ruled that ride-hail drivers are considered employees under AB-5, and a month earlier, a group of attorneys general from the state, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego sued both companies over their alleged refusal to comply with the law. On Wednesday, Uber and Lyft got hit with another lawsuit from the state's labor commissioner, who accused them of wage theft by refusing to pay drivers minimum wage, sick pay, unemployment, and other benefits guaranteed to employees under California law. Unlike employees, contractors aren't guaranteed those same benefits, and companies aren't bound by certain labor regulations around minimum wage payments or subject to payroll taxes for those workers, which feed into programs like unemployment insurance. But Uber is hoping that Proposition 22, which it introduced last fall along with Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart, will pass in November, allowing drivers to remain classified as contractors and making its legal battles a moot point. The companies have pumped more than $110 million into a group supporting the initiative, with Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash contributing $30 million each. Khosrowshahi called Proposition 22, which also includes new benefits for drivers such as higher wages and some reimbursement for health insurance and vehicle-related expenses, "the best of both worlds." But driver groups have slammed the companies' proposal, saying it shortchanges drivers by not fully accounting for the actual work they do and the costs they incur. For example, under Proposition 22, drivers would not be paid for the time they spend waiting to get matched with a rider, and they would be reimbursed only $0.30 per mile (the IRS per-mile rate for business-related travel is 57.5 cents, by comparison). Both Uber and driver groups claim that drivers are on their side with regards to the initiative. Khosrowshahi said the "vast majority of drivers" support it, while Ramos said "tens of thousands of drivers are organizing against" it. The stakes are undoubtedly high for both drivers and the companies. When AB-5 passed last year, analysts at Barclays concluded that having to reclassify drivers as employees in California alone could cost Uber and Lyft an additional $3,63 per driver. "We think an adverse ruling on the contract workforce issue would potentially bankrupt both Uber and Lyft," they concluded.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid
Amazon tweeted an extraordinary statement about the 'inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people' in support of George Floyd protesters (AMZN)
As protests over George Floyd's death turned to riots across the country, Amazon offered an extraordinary...As protests over George Floyd's death turned to riots across the country, Amazon offered an extraordinary show of support for the protesters and the Black community. The Seattle retail and cloud giant tweeted out a statement that point-black said that "inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our country must stop." Should Amazon decide to put its weight behind such a message, it could be a game-changer, given that Amazon has itself faced criticism of its treatment of its warehouse and Whole Foods workers, and the sale of facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies. Amazon is not the only tech company issuing statements in support of the Black community. The tech giant joins Twitter, Microsoft and others in making similar calls. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. As protests across the nation rage for days after the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed after a white police officer knelt on his neck, support for the protestors are coming from some of the most extraordinary corners of the tech world. Amazon has followed Twitter's lead and tweeted out a strongly worded message of support for those people who are protesting. It says: "The inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our country must stop. Together we stand in solidarity with the Black community — our employees, customers, and partners — in the fight against systematic racism and injustice." pic.twitter.com/yI4MYEDz4C — Amazon (@amazon) May 31, 2020 This tweet is extradinary for a host of reasons. For one, Amazon has had its own struggles with allegations of unjust treatment of employees, particularly its warehouse employees. The company has even fired a number of people who were protesting how the company was treating employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is now posting a blog where it updates daily the steps it is taking to protect employees at Amazon warehouses and its Whole Foods stores. Amazon Web Services has also been accused of selling facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies even though facial recognition tech does a far poorer job recognizing non-white faces, according to various studies. The concern is facial recognition could jeopardize the civil liberties of people who are misidentified. Amazon has criticized those studies, alleging that the technology was misconfigured. So, Amazon's unequivocal statement of support for the Black community is particularly meaningful, particularly if Amazon begins with its own house and then throws its massive resources behind efforts to help police department solve the problem. Certainly, Amazon is not the only tech company tweeting out support of the Black community in the past couple of days. Twitter changed its logo, added a link to #BlackLivesMatter to its accounts and tweeted out a string of "take action" advice that began with this statement: "The recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and George Floyd, and the victimization of Christian Cooper has left many of us angry, and with a deep sense of grief, but it doesn't compare to what Black and Brown people face every day. #SayTheirNames Racism does not adhere to social distancing.Amid the already growing fear and uncertainty around the pandemic, this week has again brought attention to something perhaps more pervasive: the long-standing racism and injustices faced by Black and Brown people on a daily basis. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/8zKPlDnacY — Twitter Together (@TwitterTogether) May 29, 2020 Microsoft also tweeted out the link to a speech by CEO Satya Nadella last week in which he addressed the situation and pointed out that Microsoft is working with "the Criminal Justice Reform Initiative, investing in partnerships and programs, working to drive reforms, focusing on policing," he said. More from CEO @satyanadella on empathy, compassion, and the need to drive change: https://t.co/i0Chbs1k2i pic.twitter.com/LILRYKtpNQ — Microsoft (@Microsoft) May 30, 2020 Meanwhile, on Friday, Box CEO Aaron Levie also tweeted his disgust "Enough is enough." He and Joelle Emerson, founder CEO of Paradigm, have committed $500,000 to support organizations trying to solve the problem. Nike has also tweeted its support, just to name a few more examples. Amazon could not be immediately reached for comment. Now read: Protests erupt across the US for the 5th night Jeff Bezos has become too removed from employees to see what's really going on, say the fired Amazon tech workers who inspired a VP to publicly quit Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths