Starbucks Corp. is living up to its reputation as one of the nation’s most socially progressive retailers.
On the heels of President Donald Trump's indefinite suspension of Syrian refugees and temporary travel bans that apply to seven predominantly Muslim countries, the coffee giant pledged to hire 10,000 refugees to work at its stores around the world during the next five years.
In a letter to employees on Sunday, Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz said the hiring would apply to Starbucks stores in the 75 countries it operates, and the effort would start in the United States where the focus would be on hiring immigrants who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel.
“I write to you today with deep concern, a heavy heart and a resolute promise," Schultz wrote. “We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question.”
The letter said that Starbucks would continue to invest and help support coffee growers in Mexico, and provide health insurance to eligible workers if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
“In the face of recent events around the world, let me assure you that we will stay true to our values and do everything we can possibly do to support and invest in every partner’s well-being while taking the actions that are squarely within our ability to control,” Schultz wrote. “This is our focus: providing a Third Place of respite for those around the world who seek it, daily.”
To read Schultz’s letter, click here.