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Starbucks and tech react to refugee ban

Monday, January 30, 2017 - 01:50

Starbucks has announced it plans to hire 10,000 refugees over five years in 75 countries, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees from certain countries. As Sonia Legg reports, many tech sector firms have responded to the policy too.

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Starbucks' response to Donald Trump's decision to ban refugees from certain countries was swift. Two days after the executive order was made the US company said it would hire 10,000 refugees over five years in 75 countries. In a letter Chief Executive Howard Schultz told employees it would do everything possible to support affected workers. He wasn't the only well known name to react. Several Silicon Valley firms showed some resistance by either financing legal opposition, criticising the plan or helping employees ensnared by it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASPER LAWLER, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST AT LCG , SAYING: "They need the high skilled labour and often the talent pool in the U.S. just isn't enough and they need to go abroad. And what they're concerned about is not so much these specific changes which aren't so much going to impact the way they are employing on a day to day basis but probably just the direction of travel." Apple, Google and Microsoft all offered legal aid to affected employees. And several executives donated to legal efforts to support the banned immigrants. Tesla CEO Elon Musk weighed in too. He and Uber head Travis Kalanick said they'd take industry concerns to Trump's business advisory council, where they both serve. But some key sectors were mostly silent over the weekend and Trump may not be too worried and the tech response. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASPER LAWLER, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST AT LCG , SAYING: "If you look at the number of employees at some of these tech firms, Google is out there with 60,000 plus employees but if you look at Facebook, with 15,000, and Netflix - the CEO of Netflix was very outspoken about this more - with around the 3,000 mark, then compare that with someone like Ford or GM, where Trump has been very outspoken, with 200,000 plus employees." But the tech industry does have influence, particularly across social media. And there are others issues where it may find itself opposed to Trump, including trade policy and cyber security.

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Starbucks and tech react to refugee ban

Monday, January 30, 2017 - 01:50