Grab a Cab — Don't Call H-1B-Users Uber and Lyft

By David North on October 24, 2019

As consumers there is little we can do if we are unhappy with the H-1B program.

Stop using the computer and dust off the manual typewriter? Avoid e-mail completely? Stop using the phone? To ask these questions is to answer them.

But there is one way that we can all express our concerns with the foreign worker program that is taking about one million jobs from citizens and green card holders: Call a cab, not Uber or Lyft.

Both of the latter are substantial users of H-1B and Uber is simultaneously laying off U.S. workers and hiring more H-1Bs, according to a recent story in the San Jose Mercury News.

These would appear to be administrative and management positions and not drivers. According to the newspaper: "[Uber] is laying off nearly 400 workers at its offices ... the software engineers at the firm were the hardest hit, with more than 125 people cut loose."

Meanwhile, the story continues: "Uber this year received federal government approval for 299 new H-1B visas ... compared with 152 in 2018."

When asked by the paper if there were any H-1Bs laid off, Uber refused to answer.

There are things activists can do beyond using traditional taxicabs:

  • Sell Uber stock short; it is trading at about $33 currently. If you sell short and the stock falls, you make money, and vice versa.
  • Ask your organization to prohibit use of (and bar reimbursement for) Uber and Lyft's services, with a press releases issued to explain why it took this action.
  • Picket Uber and Lyft offices on the West Coast.
  • Write letters to the editor objecting to Uber and Lyft's hiring practices.

Unfortunately, as in all things H-1B, the citizen-activists are not organized, while their corporate opponents have oodles of money and lawyers and momentum, at all times.