Ubiquitous, culturally-relevant, self-described “third-place” coffee giant Starbucks is in hot water again, this time for doing the right thing. In light of the company’s recent commitment to hire 10,000 refugees within five years in response to President Donald Trump’s disorganized and highly suspect immigration ban, Trump supporters are banding together to boycott Starbucks.
In his letter detailing the company’s plan to hire refugees, CEO Howard Schultz wrote that hiring plan was in response to Trump’s immigration policy. As CNBC notes, many angry people are suggesting that Starbucks should only hire Americans or American veterans instead. In fact, Starbucks has a long history of hiring veterans, supporting them with various internal programs and honoring/spotlighting veterans that are employees or store managers. Since 2013, the coffee company has hired over 8,000 veterans as part of its dedicated veterans’ program.
I hope everyone who is shouting #BoycottStarbucks remembers that they also have a commitment to hiring 10,000 vets as well by 2018.— William Prince (@thewillenium1) January 30, 2017
Schultz never wrote that the company does not or will not hire veterans. Because Starbucks operates in more than 75 countries around the world, some of the refugee hires will necessarily happen in other countries. Veterans looking for work would likely only be looking for jobs within the U.S. But former actor Scott Baio is still very concerned:
As are other Make America Great Again champions:
The last time Americans boycotted Starbucks, back in November 2016, it was because the company’s holiday cups weren’t “Christmas-y” enough. This most recent boycott smells a little bit like the protest that happened among a particularly vocal group of Trump fans last fall. When a Trump supporter felt he was waiting too long for his Starbucks order, he assumed it was because the barista was a Hillary Clinton supporter and launched into a tirade that was captured on video (and subsequently went viral). Trump fans came out to support their brethren by asking that baristas at Starbucks write “Trump” on their cups, thereby forcing staffers to yell out the President’s name when a drink order was ready. #TrumpCup became a trending hashtag for a few days after the incident, and Starbucks pocketed those sweet, sweet protest dollars.
Starbucks’ stock is currently trading slightly down. Representatives for the company released a comment regarding the boycott and reaction to Schultz’s letter:
Our company’s mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time in neighborhoods all over the world. We make decisions based on our mission, values and heritage and we recognize that sometimes there are some who may disagree with us. We respect the diverse points of views held by our partners and customers and will continue to listen.
• Trump Supporters Threaten to Boycott Starbucks Over CEO's Promise to Hire Refugees [CNBC]
• Starbucks Commits to Hiring 10,000 Refugees in Five Years [E]
• Trump Supporters Protest Starbucks by Spending More Money at Starbucks [E]