Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Starbucks defiantly hiring 2,500 refugees across Europe despite public backlash

starbucks refugees.jpg

When Donald Trump’s first move as the President of the United States was to implement a travel ban – preventing refugees and immigrants from seven ‘majority-Muslim countries’ including Syria, Somalia, and Iran from entering the country – Starbucks quickly responded by announcing plans to hire 10,000 refugees around the world over the next five years.

Read more: “Diversity is our strength”: the world hits back at Trump’s immigration ban

In an open letter to its employees, Howard Schultz – then CEO, now Executive Chairman – wrote:

“I write to you today with deep concern, a heavy heart and a resolute promise. 

“I am hearing the alarm you all are sounding that the civility and human rights we have all taken for granted for so long are under attack…

“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... 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...”

Despite this announcement causing a slump in sales and brand sentiment, Starbucks moved ahead with the plans, starting in the USA, and this week announced that it will be hiring 2,500 refugees throughout Europe by 2022.

Starbucks refugees travel ban

Protesters welcome refugees with open arms

The coffee giant will be working with the International Rescue Committee, Refugee Council, and other NGO partners leading refugee support and resettlement in order to recruit refugees to work in their stores across Great Britain, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands.

Read more: Sheryl Sandberg just highlighted the importance of accepting refugees

The new recruits will make up around 8% of Starbucks’ current European workforce of 30,000.

Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, said: “Refugees bring an incredible wealth of skills, knowledge and experience which are hugely beneficial to society. It’s so important that they are given the opportunity to apply their talents to employment here in the UK, and hiring schemes like this one delivered by Starbucks, really help that to become possible.”

starbucks refugees europe

Starbucks are offering refugees employment in stores throughout Europe

The announcement was poignantly made on World Refugee Day (20 June).

Defiantly moving forward despite criticism from the public, with some calling for the coffee chain to be boycotted, Starbucks have now committed to hiring 6,000 refugees globally.

Images: REX Features


Instagram project reminds us to stay outraged over sexual harassment

It may happen every day, but that doesn’t mean we should put up with it

by Megan Murray
28 Jul 2017

3 signs that you're suffering from stress-induced burnout

And how to handle and prevent them

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Jul 2017

Sexist Facebook page shames women for one-night stands in Magaluf

Pictures and videos are posted of women deemed to be on the ‘walk of shame’

by Amy Swales
28 Jul 2017

These are 12 funniest words in the English language

A new study reveals the words that make us laugh the most - and they’re deliciously juvenile

by Moya Crockett
28 Jul 2017

Will you be watching Make or Break?

Could Channel 5's offering be better than the original?

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Jul 2017

Little ways we're cheating on our partners, according to Reddit

What do you count as cheating?

by Megan Murray
28 Jul 2017

This gin is one of the best in the world – and costs under £10

It keeps topping the polls in industry taste tests, but leaves you change from a tenner

by Amy Swales
27 Jul 2017

30-year-old pilot becomes youngest ever woman to captain a Boeing 777

And she's shared her best career advice

by Sarah Biddlecombe
27 Jul 2017

Research says that half the atoms in our body come from another galaxy

You are a celestial being and should be treated as such

by Jasmine Andersson
27 Jul 2017

Five steps to the perfect G& T

It's time to nail gin 'o clock like a pro

by Stylist
27 Jul 2017