Testimony from a former Uber employee that the company has ignored systemic problems of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination continue to reverberate. The latest reaction from Uber is to try to reassure users who are deleting their accounts in protest that the Silicon Valley firm is responding to these problems.
As reported by Mashable, a number of Uber users in the process of deleting their accounts have been shown a message saying the company is “deeply hurting” after reading allegations by former employee Susan Fowler. The statement, which does not apologize or accept responsibility for the toxic culture brought to light by Fowler and others, says Uber “believes in creating a workplace where a deep sense of justice underpins everything we do.” A source at Uber told The Verge that fewer than 40 people received the message while deleting their accounts.
“What [Fowler] describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in,” says the statement. It then references the recently announced “independent review” of Uber’s workplace culture, which is being led by the former US Attorney General Eric Holder (who has previously advocated for Uber) and Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington (who is an Uber board member). Other members of this investigation team are active Uber employees, which critics say raises questions about the review’s supposed independence.
This is not the first time this year that Uber has had to respond to users quitting the service in protest. Last month, a #DeleteUber campaign started after the company allegedly broke a taxi strike targeting President Donald Trump’s immigration ban at JFK airport, with the campaign leading to the deletion of more than 200,000 accounts.
Update February 24th: Added information about the number of individuals shown the message.