When Starbucks announced its plan to hire 10,000 refugees in the next five years, some customers threatened to boycott the chain.
Those who opposed Starbucks’ plan, which the company announced in a letter opposing President Trump’s executive order barring people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US, claimed that the company failed to provide similar support for veterans.
“Instead of hiring 10,000 AMERICAN VETERANS, #Starbucks has decided to hire 10,000 ‘refugees,'” wrote Twitter user The Trump Train. “Calling on all Americans to #BoycottStarbucks!”
In fact, Starbucks pledged to do exactly that four years ago.
In 2013, the coffee giant announced a commitment to hire 10,000 veterans by the end of 2018 — in essence, the exact same commitment that CEO Howard Schultz made on Sunday to refugees. So far, the company says it has hired more than 8,000 veterans and military spouses.
This program, which pre-dates the refugee plan, gave Starbucks the ideal response in a number of Twitter exchanges on Monday.
Scott Baio, an actor and outspoken Trump supporter, asked the chain why it wasn’t focusing on hiring “unemployed Blacks, Hispanics, & Veterans.”
While Starbucks was flooded with threats of boycott on Monday, many others took the opportunity to support Schultz’s opposition to the immigration ban and support for refugees.
Schultz has long been vocal regarding his political beliefs as CEO of Starbucks. He endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president in September, and reportedly would have been Clinton’s pick for secretary of labour if she won the election.
“We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question,” Schultz wrote in a letter to Starbucks employees announcing the plan on Sunday.
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