Starbucks to hire 10,000 refugees despite US travel ban

Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz. Picture: AP Photo/Richard Drew
Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz. Picture: AP Photo/Richard Drew
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Starbucks says it will hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years after President Donald Trump ordered an indefinite suspension of Syrian refugees and temporary travel bans.

Howard Schultz, the coffee retailer’s chairman, said in a letter to employees that the hiring would apply to stores worldwide.

The effort will start in the United States where the focus will be on hiring immigrants “who have served with US troops as interpreters and support personnel”.

Hundreds of travellers, including refugees, were detained at US airports and removed from flights to America after the US president signed an executive order cancelling visas for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Schultz, a supporter of Hillary Clinton during the presidential run, has also taken aim at other elements of a Trump agenda, including plans to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health care law and restructure trade with Mexico.

The letter said that Starbucks would help support coffee growers in Mexico, provide health insurance to eligible workers if the health care law is repealed and back an Obama-era programme allowing young immigrants who were brought to the country as children to apply for a two-year deportation reprieve and a work permit.

Trump has met with chief executives at Ford, General Motors and Boeing and asked them to create employment in the United States. He has touted each announcement about new factory jobs as a success even if those additions had been planned before his presidential victory.

But not all corporate leaders have embraced the new president.

Schultz also said that Starbucks would aim to communicate with workers more frequently, adding: “I am hearing the alarm you all are sounding that the civility and human rights we have all taken for granted for so long are under attack.”

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