In a message to Starbucks employees addressing President Trump’s recent policy moves, CEO Howard Schultz also said the company is helping employees affected by the executive order temporarily barring citizens from seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz said Sunday the company plans to hire 10,000 refugees in its stores worldwide over the next five years, starting in the U.S., where stores will focus on hiring those who served as interpreters and support personnel for U.S. troops overseas.
In a message to Starbucks employees addressing several aspects of President Trump’s recent policy moves, Schultz also said the company is helping employees affected by the executive order temporarily barring citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
“I can assure you that our Partner Resources team has been in direct contact with the partners [employees] who are impacted by this immigration ban, and we are doing everything possible to support and help them to navigate through this confusing period,” Schultz wrote in a note to Starbucks’ 330,000 employees in 75 countries.
Starbucks declined to say how many employees are affected.
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“We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question,” Schultz wrote.
He added that “we will neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new Administration’s actions grows with each passing day:”
Trump on Friday signed an order suspending entry of all refugees for 120 days; barring Syrian refugees indefinitely; and suspending entry into the U.S. for 90 days for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. There was continuing confusion over the weekend over the order, with Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff, saying in an apparent reversal Sunday that green-card holders from the seven countries could return to the U.S.
Schultz reiterated his company’s support for “Dreamers” — those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows young people brought into the country illegally as children to stay and obtain work permits. The company reimburses such Dreamers the biennial fee they must pay to stay in the program.
In response, the company emphasized its work in Mexico, including the creation of more than 7,000 jobs, decades of purchasing coffee from Mexican farmers, and donations of money and coffee trees to communities there. Starbucks stores in Mexico are operated by Mexico-based Alsea.
“We will continue to invest in this critically important market,” Schultz said.
Schultz also reiterated that employees who are eligible for company benefits (those who work 20 or more hours a week) will “always have access to health insurance through Starbucks.”
For employees with health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, Schultz wrote: “If the recent Executive Order related to health care remains in place and the Affordable Care Act is repealed causing you to lose your healthcare coverage, you will always have the ability to return and can do so within 30 days of losing that coverage rather than having to wait for an open enrollment period.”
Several years ago, Starbucks had started another big hiring effort similar to its plan to hire 10,000 refugees. In 2013, the company pledged to hire at least 10,000 military veterans and active-duty spouses over the next five years. As of last year, it was more than halfway to that goal.