Society

Starbucks To Hire 10K, But Boycott Could Cause Trouble

| by Sheena Vasani

Starbucks announced it would be hiring 10,000 more people over the next five years, but instead of celebrating this news, many are enraged.

Some are so angry, they are going as far as to boycott the company after Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced the news on Jan. 29, reports Reuters.

Since then, consumer perception levels of the coffee store chain spiraled downward considerably, with the Starbucks YouGov BrandIndex Buzz score falling from 4 to 12 between Jan. 29 and Feb. 13.

But looking closer, this drop is perhaps not as puzzling as it initially appears.

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The thousands of new hires Schultz announced were to be refugees, causing many supporters of President Donald Trump to boycott in protest.

"Consumer perception dropped almost immediately," said YouGov BrandIndex CEO Ted Marzilli. "That would indicate the announcement has had a negative impact on Starbucks, and might indicate a negative impact on sales in the near term."

Before Schultz made his controversial announcement, a YouGov spokesman noted that 30 percent of consumers said they'd buy from Starbucks. That percentage dropped to 24 percent shortly after Schultz's refugee remarks, although it increased slightly to 26 percent later on.

Addressing employees, Schultz responded to Trump's executive order banning Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., saying "the civility and human rights we have all taken for granted for so long are under attack."

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"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," he added.

To show support for refugees, Schultz said Starbucks will work to hire 10,000 of the world's 65 million refugees over five years in the 75 countries where the chain has stores.

"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," elaborated Schultz.     

Schultz also promised to help in other areas where he believes the Trump administration may cause hardships. These include health care, relations with Mexico and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The DACA program defers deportation those who were brought into the U.S. as children and allows those in the program to work.

"We stand ready to help and support our Mexican customers, partners and their families as they navigate what impact proposed trade sanctions, immigration restrictions and taxes might have on their business and their trust of Americans," wrote Schultz.  

Sources: Reuters, Starbucks / Photo credit: 663highland/Wikimedia Commons

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