Starbucks to Hire 10,000 Refugees

Starbucks to Hire 10,000 Refugees

On Jan. 29, Starbucks chief executive, Howard Schultz, announced plans to hire 10,000 refugees over five years in the seventy-five countries where the company does business. According to Schultz, the initial hiring in the United States will be focused on “those individuals who have served with US troops as interpreters and support personnel” in the various countries where the US military has asked for such support.

This message came in just days after President Trump issued his executive order on Jan. 27, banning people from several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country. The ban, now temporarily halted by a federal court, would have included all immigrants, including refugees, for 120 days. More than 65 million citizens in the world are officially recognized as refugees by the United Nations. President Trump has repeatedly mentioned that the ban “is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. “This is not about religion–this is about terror and keeping our country safe," he said.

Such an announcement has faced considerable amounts of backlash in the form of #BoycottStarbucks on Twitter. Critics of this new policy have argued that Starbucks should focus on creating jobs for Americans in America, such as veterans, African-Americans or the struggling unemployed. Despite this backlash, however, Starbucks has a history of hiring veterans and has hired over 8,000 veterans under its veterans’ program since 2013. Meanwhile, supporters of Starbucks’ announcement have praised the company’s actions and have used the same hashtag to shoot back at the critics.

Starbucks is not the only company to respond to President Trump’s ban. On Saturday, Jan. 28, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance announced a one-hour work stoppage after President Trump’s announcement. Similarly, Uber turned off surge pricing near John F. Kennedy airport and sent drivers to the airport during a taxi-driver strike in protest of the travel ban, causing #DeleteUber to start trending in response. The situation was further exacerbated due to the fact that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has a role in President Trump’s economic advisory council. Meanwhile, Lyft has pledged to donate $1 million over a course of four years to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and has surpassed Uber in downloads for the first time ever.

As the Trump presidency continues to isolate certain groups, it’s important for people to step up and protect the rights of affected individuals. Even though the recent Starbucks boycott may not last long, the message behind the boycott shows consumers want companies to oblige to their beliefs and behave in a way that aligns with their values.

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