Yesterday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that the coffee chain will hire 10,000 refugees in 75 countries around the world, starting in the U.S. In a letter to employees , Schultz addressed workers’ concerns about the impact of President Trump’s executive order restricting immigration from several Muslim-majority countries. He also outlined the company’s pledge to hire refugees, explaining that it will initially focus on those who worked as interpreters and support staff for the U.S. military:
We have a long history of hiring young people looking for opportunities and a pathway to a new life around the world. This is why we are doubling down on this commitment by working with our equity market employees as well as joint venture and licensed market partners in a concerted effort to welcome and seek opportunities for those fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination. There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business. And we will 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.
Starbucks’ Corporate Values
As an employer, Starbucks boasts a wealth of perks for workers, which it calls partners. Part-time employees are eligible for healthcare coverage, for example, as well as participation in its stock option program. The company offers tuition reimbursement through an online program with Arizona State University, and six weeks of paid maternity leave for birth mothers (as well as the legally required 12 weeks of unpaid leave for all parents under FMLA).
Three years ago, when the company announced its plan to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses, Schultz said: “The value we are creating for shareholders is tied to the values that guide us as an organization. As I look at the opportunity ahead of us, we’re going to need to hire men and women with like-minded values and the right job skills in order to continue our current levels of growth.”
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