It's smart public relations to position and package a stance as in the interest of macro values such as fairness. And that's what Uber is doing in pushing back on allowing drivers to request tips. That initiative is part of its proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit filed to have drivers classified as employees.
The agreement, if approved, would have Uber explicitly indicate that tips are not included in the bill. Its competitor, Lyft, facilitates the collection of tips. However, it could happen that if tipping is an option, potential riders will think twice before going with Uber. After all, the cost will be higher. Once tipping is part of the deal, not tipping is verboten. It's just not done, except for service that is perceived as subpar.
As Dan Adams reports in the Boston Globe, Uber has created the message that tipping "is inherently unfair because customers' unconscious racial biases. The ... stance is based in part on an academic study that found white restaurant servers earned larger tips, on average, than black servers who provided equally good service."
Those of us in issue management will watch if this argument is persuasive to the myriad constituencies involved. Those include the judge who is reviewing the agreement. He is U.S. District Judge Edward Chen.