Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s pledge to hire 10,000 refugees in the wake of President Trump’s executive order on immigration has sparked calls to boycott the coffee chain on social media.
The hashtag #BoycottStarbucks came about because critics of Schultz’s pledge say Starbucks should be working to create jobs for Americans in America, especially veterans, minorities, and the unemployed instead of refugees from foreign countries, the Washington Post reported.
“Hiring 10K refugees makes liberals feel warm BUT we have homeless vets that need those jobs. #BoycottStarbucks,” one Twitter user wrote.
“#BoycottStarbucks to support the AMERICAN WORKERS and National Security,” another user wrote.
Schultz penned an open letter to Starbucks employees announcing his plan to hire “citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations.”
“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 in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business,” Schultz wrote.
He added that there will be a focus on hiring people who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel “where our military has asked for such support.”
Schultz has faced criticism from conservatives in the past for supporting progressive causes.
In the wake of the boycott, some experts say company executives have to consider how their personal expression in support or against an issue can affect businesses.
“Even when you say a general statement you can then quickly find yourself getting into trouble, and all of sudden people are saying this a terrible company and a terrible executive,” Northwestern University marketing professor Tim Calkins told CBS Chicago.