Starbucks has promised to hire 10,000 refugees over five years in response to Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barring refugees access to the US and banning entry for anyone from seven majority Muslim countries.
The move came as leading US companiesincluding Alphabet, Amazon, Ford, Goldman Sachs and Microsoft came out against the policy.
Howard Schultz, the coffee chain’s chief executive, said he had “deep concern” about the president’s order and would be taking “resolute” action, starting with offering jobs to refugees.
“We are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business,” he told employees in a strongly worded note.
He added that the move was to make clear the company “will neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new administration’s actions grows with each passing day”.
Schultz said the initial focus would be in the US and for refugees who had served as interpreters for the US military, but it is not yet clear when the five-year period would begin, or whether people would be employed directly by Starbucks or by suppliers. Schultz added that the Seattle-based company had also contacted employees who had been affected by the immigration ban.
The move met with both support and a backlash on social media. The hashtag #BoycottStarbucks was trending on Twitter on Monday morning, with people praising and condemning the company’s move.