In a message sent to all Starbucks’ partners (employees) on January 29, 2017, the Chairman and CEO of the coffee retailer Howard Schultz has said the organization plans to hire 10,000 refugees over five years – a response to President Donald Trump’s Executive Order that bans people from several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, including refugees fleeing wars.
Schultz, “with a heavy heart and a resolute promise,” wrote that the coffee retailer, which has more than 25,000 retail stores in 75 countries, will take specific actions that reinforce their belief in their partners around the world.
Schultz outlined four specific actions: Support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; Hiring Refugees; Building Bridges, Not Walls, With Mexico; and Starbucks’ Healthcare Commitment to Employees.
In regards to Hiring Refugees, Schultz wrote:
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. 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. And we will start this effort here in the U.S. by making the initial focus of our hiring efforts on those 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.
The move reflects the increasing complexity that businesses face when dealing with the new Trump administration. Schultz reiterates his support for all his partners, “We are in business to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time – whether that neighborhood 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.”