Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz outlined the plan Sunday in a note to employees addressing several aspects of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order.
The Starbucks plan to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide over the next five years is sparking calls for a boycott from some people who said the company should focus on hiring American workers.
Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz outlined the plan Sunday in a note to employees addressing several aspects of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order temporarily banning refugees, and citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, from entering the U.S.
“I am hearing the alarm you all are sounding that the civility and human rights we have all taken for granted for so long are under attack,” Schultz said in his note. “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.”
His plan to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide would start in the U.S., where stores will focus on hiring those who served as interpreters and support personnel for U.S. troops overseas, he said.
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That drew outrage from some who called for a boycott:
Starbucks issued a statement in response to the social media calls for a boycott. “Our company’s mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time in neighborhoods all over the world,” it said. “We make decisions based on our mission, values and heritage and we recognize that sometimes there are some who may disagree with us. We respect the diverse points of views held by our partners and customers and will continue to listen.”
The company has made big hiring efforts before.
In 2013, Starbucks pledged to hire at least 10,000 U.S. military veterans and active-duty spouses over the next five years. To date, it’s hired 8,000 veterans and military spouses.
Starbucks had also said a couple of years ago that by 2018, it planned to hire 10,000 young Americans who aren’t employed or in school to help them enter the workforce. The company says it’s already met that goal, and continues to work with other companies to hire or train a total of 100,000 youths.
Starbucks currently has 330,000 employees in 75 countries.
With the large number of stores it plans to open over the next five years, the company presumably would have many new jobs to fill. Starbucks said last month it plans to open 12,000 new stores worldwide by 2021. A typical Starbucks store employs 20 to 25 people, meaning a potential 240,000 to 300,000 jobs from those store openings.
Starbucks’ plan to hire refugees also drew praise from others on social media:
Starbucks shares were down slightly by about 0.4 percent to close at $55.90 on Monday.