Business

Starbucks CEO to hire 10,000 refugees in response to Trump ban

SEATTLE: Starbucks chief executive officer (CEO) Howard Schultz said on Sunday the company is planning to hire 10,000 refugees over five years in 75 countries.

The announcement came two days after US President Donald Trump's executive order that bans refugees from certain countries from entering the US.

Mr Trump on Friday put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the US and temporarily barred travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries, saying the moves would help protect Americans from terrorist attacks.

The order sparked widespread international criticism, outrage from civil rights activists and legal challenges.

Starbucks, in a letter from Mr Schultz, told employees it would do everything possible to support affected workers.

The hiring efforts would start in the US by focusing on individuals who have served with the US troops as interpreters and support personnel in the countries where the military had asked for such support, Mr Schultz said.

Mr Schultz has been outspoken on various issues and has put Starbucks in the national spotlight by asking customers not to bring guns into stores and urging conversations on race relations.

HEALTH INSURANCE

Mr Schultz also said that if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and employees lose healthcare coverage, they would be able to return to health insurance through Starbucks.

Mr Trump and a Republican-controlled legislature are seeking to undo much of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Mr Schultz will step down as CEO in a few months to focus on new high-end coffee shops, handing the top job to chief operating officer Kevin Johnson. He will become executive chairman in April.

Mr Schultz also affirmed the company's commitment to trade with Mexico, another subject that has been front and centre of Mr Trump's campaign. - REUTERS

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