SEATTLE — On Sunday, Starbucks outlined a plan pledging to hire 10,000 refugees within the next five years.
This comes as a response to President Donald Trump’s recently signed executive order, which suspends indefinitely admissions for Syrian refugees and limits the flow of other refugees into the United States.
Trump’s divisive decision has drawn criticism from multiple high-profile companies, landing car ride service Uber in hot water when the New York City Taxi Worker’s Alliance called for a complete stop to pickups at John F. Kennedy airport amid the detainment of two Iraqi travelers.
Uber, meanwhile, effectively lowered the cost of a ride at the same time. Riders launched a viral effort for riders to boycott the app, popularizing the hashtag #DeleteUber.
Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a letter reacting to what he called “deep concerns” among employees. He assured them Apple does not support Trump’s policy.
Tech giant Google warned employees who might be affected by the order not to travel.
Starbucks’ public support of refugees caused the most uproar among some Trump supporters, with groups pledging to strike back with their wallets.
— Mary (@mnpitbullmom) January 30, 2017
The chain’s global presence, operating in more than 75 countries, will necessitate the coffee giant employ refugees in some countries outside of the US.
One argument critics of Starbucks’ action offer is the idea that refugees might potentially take jobs from other groups that could also be perceived as oppressed, including American minorities and military veterans.
— Scott Baio (@ScottBaio) January 30, 2017
This isn’t the first time Starbucks has made news with their hiring tactics, announcing in 2014 that it would create a program to help support veterans and their families. The company kept its word, claiming to have hired 8,000 veterans since 2014.
Groups of Americans boycotted Starbucks in November 2015 because the chain’s signature red holiday cup served up by the company excluded specific Christmas images.
A man characterizing himself as a “social media personality” encouraged customers to say “Merry Christmas” instead of their names in order to “trick” baristas into writing the phrase on the cup.
A vocal group of Trump supporters also pushed back after a video surfaced of a man assuming a barista was stalling his order because she was a Hillary Clinton supporter.
In response, those agreeing the man’s treatment was unacceptable urged others to ask baristas to write “Trump” on their cups, forcing employees to shout the name when the order was being served.
Twitter users supportive of Starbucks’ plan have hijacked the #boycottStarbucks hashtag, citing the move to hire refugees as a new reason to patronize the chain.
CEO Howard Schultz said the company would “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.”