In what is possibly the most tangible support for the anti-travel-ban movement against president Trump’s executive order and against the blocking of Syrian refugees from entering the United States, premium coffee chain Starbucks has come out saying that it will hire 10,000 refugees at its locations all over the world.
In a letter to Starbucks employees, CEO Howard Schultz outlined four specific areas that Starbucks would address – DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the hiring of refugees, the Mexico-U.S. border wall and the Affordable Care Act.
Schultz noted that there were nearly 750,000 Starbucks employees who are part of the DACA program, and Starbucks will continue to reimburse the biennial fee for these employees to stay in the program. The company also offers DACA-related services at its hiring fairs.
On the subject of refugees, Schultz noted that there were 65 million people worldwide that the UN recognized as such, and that Starbucks would be hiring 10,000 of them across its presence in 75 countries, over a period of five years.
As for Mexico, Starbucks already has a significant presence, having opened nearly 600 stores in 60 cities since it launched its Mexican operations in 2002. Starbucks has now pledged that it will generate 4 million coffee tree donations this year in addition to the one million they have donated so far. This will help support nearly 30,000 Mexican families, based on the count of 70,000 families that have benefited from the earlier donation of coffee trees.
On the healthcare front, Schultz said this:
“If the recent Executive Order related to health care remains in place and the Affordable Care Act is repealed causing you to lose your healthcare coverage, you will always have the ability to return and can do so within 30 days of losing that coverage rather than having to wait for an open enrollment period.”
In closing, Schultz noted:
“So, while we seek to understand what the new Administration’s policies mean for us and our business both domestically and around the world, I can assure you that we will do whatever it takes to support you, our partners, to realize your own dreams and achieve your own opportunities. We are in business to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time – whether that neighborhood is in a Red State or a Blue State; a Christian country or a Muslim country; a divided nation or a united nation. That will not change. You have my word on that.”
So far, this is the biggest commitment we’ve seen opposing and addressing the sweeping chaos that Trump’s administration has brought on the heads of the American people. If other large corporations start doing this, it will do a lot to mitigate much of the damage expected to arise from the execution of the new president’s orders.
It would appear that Trump’s declaration of transferring power from the White House to the people is, in fact, coming true. But not in the way he’d hoped for.
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