The US Starbucks coffee chain will hire 10,000 refugees around the world in the next five years in response to the controversial anti-immigration decree made by President Donald Trump.
“I am writing to you today with great concern, a big heart and a firm promise,” writes Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Sunday.
“We live in an unprecedented period, a time when … the promise of the American dream is being challenged,” he said.
Mr Schultz, who is close to the Democratic Party, says that Starbucks is in contact with employees affected by the presidential decree which has imposed severe restrictions on access to US territory and “extreme checks” against nationals of Seven Muslim countries (Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen).
The group is committed to hiring people who have fled wars, persecution and discrimination in the 75 countries where it is present over the next five years.
In the United States, Starbucks will start by recruiting refugees who have worked for the US military, such as interpreters.
The channel also undertakes to reimburse the expenses paid by the employees who are part of the DACA program, set up in 2012 by Mr. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama. The program enabled over 750,000 illegal immigrants to enter the United States while they were minors to obtain residence and work permits.
“We need to ensure that our elected representatives hear us individually and collectively. Starbucks is doing its part, “said the executive, adding that the chain wants to serve its customers wherever they are,” in a Christian country or a Muslim country. ”
Mr. Schultz, one of the few American CEOs to interfere in political debates, such as the issue of race relations two years ago, also flew Sunday to the rescue of another privileged target of Donald Trump: Mexico.
“Building bridges and not walls with Mexico,” he said, referring to the wall that the new US president wants to erect at the border between the United States and Mexico to prevent illegal immigration.
Starbucks will continue to invest in Mexico, where it owns 600 cafes and employs 7,000 people.
Howard Schultz supported Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump’s opponent during the election campaign, but dismissed any idea of running for political office, despite persistent rumors. In particular, he was given the intention of running for the next presidential election.