Trump's travel ban - how is business responding?

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Article
7 April 2017

Commentary: Business response to US travel ban - a watershed in CEO activism

Author: Vanessa Fuhrmans, Wall Street Journal (USA)

“A Watershed Moment in CEO Activism”, 4 Apr 2017

From gay rights to race relations, chief executives are speaking out in growing numbers on social policies that go beyond issues directly affecting their businesses.  But the massive response to the White House’s initial travel ban earlier this year marked a watershed moment in CEO activism…According to researchers at…Weber Shandwick, which tracked corporate reactions to the ban, at least 153 large and midsize companies spoke out; In 84% of instances, it was the CEO directly who took the stand...[This]…analysis didn’t include dozens of smaller-company leaders who also spoke out or signed open…What marked a particular shift from previous instances of executive activism was the large number of companies—48% of them—that took specific action in response to the ban, rather than simply issuing a corporate statement, tweet or employee memo...Business leaders are still figuring out the playbook on how and whether to speak out on…controversial issues, said Aaron Chatterji, an associate professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business... Still, the hefty opposition to the ban shows “CEO activism has gone relatively mainstream.”  [Also refers to Alphabet, Google, Lyft, Twitter, Starbucks, PayPal, Deutsche Bank, Adidas].

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Article
24 February 2017

CEO activism & the impact of social media in the Trump era

Author: Jena McGregor, The Washington Post (USA)

“The Cost Of Silence: Why More CEOs Are Speaking Out In The Trump Era”, 21 Feb 2017  

…[M]ore…consumers and employees are…expecting…companies they buy from or work for to take a stand on social issues. CEOs are… increasingly…responding…Nancy Koehn, [of]…Harvard Business School…[says]…"There's…nothing," in scale or swiftness, that…compare[s] to the corporate response to Trump's entry ban...Business leaders have taken political stances in the past, but usually behind the scenes. [However] their more public statements today are not mere corporate altruism but often have an economic interest… Koehn calls…social media, which can quickly mobilize large groups…"the lighter fluid in all this," [by]…put[ting] new pressure on chief executives to speak up or take action…Aaron Chatterji [of]…Duke University…says…staying out of the fray now has a cost…"Silence used to be the default posture," but political polarization, Facebook and Twitter have changed that..."It's a choose-a-side mentality…with the proliferation of social media, it's kind of like a microphone that's always on. If you're not speaking out, it's more conspicuous."…Meanwhile, many consumers remain skeptical about the reasons behind CEOs' activism…Chatterji [says]…CEOs need to choose the "issues you're authentically connected to, so you might have more influence"…(Also refers to IBM, Uber, Oracle, Apple, Starbucks, Audi, Microsoft, Tesla Motors, Chobani, Nike, Ford, Goldman Sachs, MasterCard, Facebook and Twitter].

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Article
20 February 2017

USA: Over 100 workers in construction & service industry fired after joining "Day Without Immigrants" protests

Author: Daniel Politi, Slate (USA)

"Dozens Fired After Joining “Day Without Immigrants” Protests", 19 Feb 2017

More than 100 people were suddenly out of work across the country this past week after they participated in Thursday’s “Day Without Immigrants” protest.  Eighteen…were fired…[from]…Bradley Coatings Inc., which had warned employees they would lose their jobs if they didn’t come to work.  In Lexington, South Carolina, 21…were fired from Encore Boat Builders…The company has declined to comment.  [I]n Denver, at least 30 workers were fired from JVS Masonry…In Miami, four construction workers were fired—and 17 others…quit in protest—from the Orange and Blue company.  In New York, 25 workers were fired from Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterers…In Catoosa, Oklahoma, a dozen workers were fired from the I Don’t Care Bar and Grill…An immigration activist said…six employees at the Bahamas Breeze restaurant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania were fired [but]…[t]he restaurant later reversed its decision after it was “bombarded” with calls.  [T]he company that owns the restaurant disputes the allegation, saying nobody was fired...Some are now taking to social media to call for boycotts of the companies that fired workers.

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Article
20 February 2017

USA: Walmart & Citibank among companies ambivalent to Trump’s travel ban

Author: Matt Freathy, Nouse (USA)

"Businesses ambivalent to Trump's travel ban", 19 Feb 2017

…Trump’s temporary ban on immigration from seven Muslim majority countries and suspension of the US refugee programme has sharply divided the American people, and the reaction from large American corporations has also been mixed…[M]ain opposition has come from the tech sector, who have almost unanimously decried the ban on the grounds of its questionable constitutionality and the negative consequences for their own operations.  Throughout the rest of…big business there’s…far less unity.  More moderate reactions, from companies like Citibank and Walmart, include voicing concern about Trump’s order but not outright opposing it, nor offering support for any of their affected employees.  Plenty of multinationals are…giving no public comment on the situation, particularly in the media and telecoms industry.  Such conservative responses are partly due to fear of becoming the subject of one of Trump’s Twitter rants...known to cause a company to plummet on the stock market, or a boycott by the 63 million Americans who voted him into office…[Also refers to Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Uber and Airbnb].

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Article
17 February 2017

USA: McDonald's branches close across country during “Day without Immigrants” protest against Trump

Author: Zlata Rodionova, The Independent (UK)

“McDonald's shuts down branches across US during 'Day Without Immigrants' protest against Donald Trump”, 16 Feb 2017

The Day Without Immigrants protest, for which support was largely drummed online, urged foreign-born workers to refuse to participate in the US economy for a day...McDonald’s outlets across the United States, along with hundreds of other restaurants and businesses, closed their doors on Thursday as protests against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies swept the country.  Schools, restaurants and grocery stores shut across the country, in a direct response to Mr Trump’s promise to seal the southern US-Mexico border and his suspended ban on citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries.  It remains unclear whether the fast food giant voluntarily closed its outlets or if it was unable to operate as a result of workers not showing up to work however many burger fans shared updates via Twitter and Facebook on locations that were closed or operating on a limited service.

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Article
16 February 2017

USA: Restaurants & suppliers nationwide close in solidarity with immigrants protesting Trump's policies

Author: Mark Shrayer, Uproxx (USA)

"A Running List Of All The Restaurants Closed For ‘A Day Without Immigrants’ Today", 16 Feb 2017

Today…immigrants in D.C. and throughout the nation will protest Donald Trump’s immigration policies with a coordinated strike.  Fueled by a word-of-mouth campaign, immigrants will take off work, abstain from school, and refrain from shopping.  Instead, they’ll march through D.C. to remind the new regime that immigrants aren’t just important, they’re crucial for the continued health of this nation…While some restaurant operators say that they’ll be unaffected, others have decided to stand with their employees in solidarity…Many D.C. restaurants announced an intent to close in advance…D.C. won’t be the only place affected: Popular restaurants in Minneapolis will also close…as will eateries and suppliers in Austin, Texas.  Austin’s mayor, Steve Adler, has already issued his support.  “This is a country of immigrants and a city of immigrants, and I love it when we stick up for each other here,” he said.  Major restaurants in Philadelphia and New York will follow suit...

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Article
10 February 2017

USA: 160 biotech companies join opposition to travel ban in open letter

Author: Martin Flanagan, The Scotsman UK

“Biotech hits back over Trump travel ban Donald Trump's immigration ban has sparked protests around the world”, 9 February 2017

Chief executives of more than 160 biotech companies… put their Big Pharma counterparts to shame by protesting publicly about US President… Trump’s immigration ban. In an open letter…Nature… biotech bosses say they are “deeply concerned” and unequivocally opposed to the action. They say America’s status as the world’s “greatest developer of medicines” has been based on it sourcing top researchers, clinicians and executives from around the globe. [It] alludes to research…published [by] Nature…showing that in 2014 more than half of the 69,000 biomedical researchers working Stateside were born overseas. Symbolically, it places the biotech sector in the same camp as Silicon Valley tech giants...By contrast, most…pharmaceutical majors have decided that discretion is the better part of valour on the ban, whose legality may well end up in the US Supreme Court, for fear of making an enemy of the tweet-toothed President…[also refers to Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook].

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Article
10 February 2017

USA: Food brands big & small take a stand on immigration

Author: Allison Aubrey, NPR USA

“Amid Travel Ban Debate, Chefs And Food Brands Take A Stand On Immigration”, 8 February 2017

Over 800 cafes around the [USA] participated in [a] weekend fundraiser…donating 5 percent [of… proceeds] to the ACLU in response to the travel ban...Organizers say…$400,000 was raised…[and] they expect that number to keep rising. Ben Hall…chef and co-owner of…Russell Street Deli,…Detroit, has designated his deli as a sanctuary restaurant…[in] a nationwide movement aimed at promoting discrimination-free workplaces…helping protect workers from discriminatory acts... Big brands [are]…speaking up…too… Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz wrote to … employees assuring them "we are doing everything possible to support and help" employees who are impacted by the… ban...CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi…sent an email to her employees after the travel ban was announced… She pledged to remain "steadfastly committed to the safety, security and well-being of all…associates”...Nando's Peri-Peri…[is also]…currently promoting its Everyone Is Welcome campaign: "Nando's Peri-Peri is an immigrant employing, gay loving, Muslim respecting, racism opposing, equal paying, multi-cultural restaurant."

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Article
8 February 2017

USA: Total of 128 companies in lawsuit against Trump's travel ban

Author: FastCompany News USA

"Another 31 companies have joined the amicus brief against Trump’s immigration ban", 7 February 2017

Added to the original 97, and that brings the total to 128 companies who are publicly against Trump's ban, reports TechCrunch. The new companies are: Adobe Systems, Affirm, Ampush, Brocade, Communications Systems, Bungie, Casper Sleep, Cavium, Chegg, ClassPass, Coursera, EquityZen, Evernote, Gusto, Handy Technologies, HP, IAC/InterActiveCorp, Linden Lab, Managed By Q, MobileIron, New Relic, Pandora Media, Planet Labs, RPX Corporation, Shift Technologies, Slack, Technologies, SpaceX, Tesla, TripAdvisor, Udacity, Zendesk, Zenefits MG.

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Article
7 February 2017

USA: Tesla Motors & SpaceX join amicus brief against Trump's travel ban signed by more than 100 co.s

Author: Corinne Reichert, ZDNet

“Elon Musk joins tech companies against Trump's travel ban”, 7 February 2017

Tesla and SpaceX are among…31 companies that have [joined] an amicus brief against United States President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel into the United States from seven countries. They join the initial 96 companies that filed on Sunday, which included Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Intel, Airbnb, eBay, Mozilla, Netflix, PayPal, Reddit, Salesforce, Spotify, Twitter, Uber, and Dropbox. The brief says… "The order represents a significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system …and the order inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth as a result. [It] makes it more difficult and expensive for US companies to recruit, hire, and retain some of the world's best employees…disrupts ongoing business operations…[a]nd…threatens companies' ability to attract talent, business, and investment…Despite joining the amicus brief, Elon Musk remains on the Trump's economic advisory committee…but said this should not be taken as a sign that he agrees with Trump's policies. [Also refers to: Linux, Red Hat, IBM, Cloud Foundry Foundation, Canonical, and Ubuntu.]

 

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