Published: Thu, March 23, 2017
Technology | By Tonya May

Starbucks Canada vows to hire at least 1000 refugees

Starbucks Canada vows to hire at least 1000 refugees

The company has reached its goal of hiring 10,000 military veterans by 2018.

Now available to more than 100,000 customers across the US, the My Starbucks Barista platform will be rolled out nationwide later this year.

The military hiring plans come amid protests from conservative groups over the company's hiring plans.

In January, the coffee chain had made a huge uproar in social media after it announced to hire 10,000 refugees globally in the next five years.

On Jan. 29, Schultz sent out a company-wide letter following Trump's decision to sign an executive order temporarily halted citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US. "They have skills, leadership, integrity, and not an ounce of entitlement".

The commitment is part of the coffee retailer's global goal announced in January to hire 10,000 refugees in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's temporary travel bans against Muslim-majority countries. "I'm very, very concerned about the fragile nature of the world and the uncertainty in America and want to do everything I can to really improve the situation for those people who do not have a voice". Additionally, he said that hiring refugees would not result in an additional cost to Starbucks, in opposition to Danhof's belief that the company would have to spend extra money vetting refugee workers. The company is working with the United Nation's Refugee Agency to scale up its hiring of refugees.

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Justin Danhof of the National Center for Public Policy Research admits that many corporations have gotten political but Starbucks, he says, is at the top of the list for many reasons. The think tank vowed to question Schultz about this agenda at the meeting. Growth there will accelerate in the future, Starbucks said.

Shultz responded that his decisions for the company were not political. Meanwhile, the data firm Sense360 said that visits to Starbucks fell by 9.3 percent in February when compared with the period before Christmas.

Starbucks shareholders at the meeting could be heard audibly boo-ing Danhof after he asked his question.

He said he plans to continue his efforts on youth development, veterans' issues and homelessness through the Schultz Family Foundation. It now has 2,600 stores in 127 Chinese cities, and opens stores at a rate of more than one per day. That includes another 3,400 in the US, including 100 Military Family Stores to support military families in the U.S. The chain has 26,000 locations globally.

At its annual shareholder meeting in Seattle Wednesday, the company laid out a roadmap to address recent concerns about customer ease and accessibility. Saying he had "venti shoes to fill", Johnson pledged to continue to adhere to Starbucks' values and many social causes the company has supported.

The company said it plans to start testing a new line of lunch items, salads and sandwiches, called Starbucks Mercato. Johnson said the company plans to test the products at more than 100 locations in Chicago in mid-April, with plans to expand into other markets.

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