Starbucks CEO Says Company Will Hire 10,000 Refugees At Stores Around World

Image courtesy of Louis Abate

Amid efforts by the Trump administration to curb immigration, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced over the weekend that his company “will neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new Administration’s actions grows with each passing day.”

In a statement released Sunday evening, Schultz — who will soon be stepping down as CEO but will remain as Chairman of the Board — said Starbucks will provide job opportunities to thousands of refugees around the world.

“There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business,” writes Schultz, adding that the initial focus will be on “individuals who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel in the various countries where our military has asked for such support.”

This statement was in direct response to an executive order signed on Friday by President Trump that put a temporary halt on refugees entering the U.S., and severely restricted travel from seven countries. A number of people who had already been approved for entry into the U.S. — including some who had worked as translators and other support personnel for the American military and government — were detained at airports, turned back, or not allowed to board flights to the U.S.

The CEO also addressed a handful of other controversial policy and legislative changes likely to occur under the new administration.

With regard to repeal of the Affordable Care Act, he noted that any insurance-eligible employee who loses their coverage if the ACA is repealed will have the option of joining Starbucks’ insurance plan.

Schultz also stated his company’s commitment to doing business in, and with, Mexico.

“[W]e stand ready to help and support our Mexican customers, partners and their families as they navigate what impact proposed trade sanctions, immigration restrictions and taxes might have on their business and their trust of Americans,” reads the notice. “But we will continue to invest in this critically important market all the same.”

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