Starbucks has responded to President Donald Trump’s immigration ban with a pledge to hire 10,000 refugees globally.
Howard Schultz, the coffee giant’s chairman and chief executive, has sent an open letter to employees with “deep concern, a heavy heart and a resolute promise”.
Following Trump’s signing of an executive order banning immigrants from Muslim-majority nations, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq from entering the US for 90 days, Schultz said: “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.”
The letter reassured employees that Starbuck’s Partner Resources team had been in touch with those who had been impacted by the ban, and was doing “everything possible to support and help them to navigate through this confusing period.”
Starbucks aims to hire 10,000 refugees over five years throughout the 75 countries it operates in.
The initiative will start in the US, with the aim of employing individuals who have served with the US army in roles such as interpreter and support personnel.
Schultz said: “We have a long history of hiring young people looking for opportunities and a pathway to a new life around the world. This is why we are doubling down on this commitment by working with our equity market employees as well as joint venture and licensed market partners in a concerted effort to welcome and seek opportunities for those fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination.
“We are in business to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time – whether that neighbourhood is in a Red State or a Blue State; a Christian country or a Muslim country; a divided nation or a united nation. That will not change. You have my word on that.”