MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Misinformation causes vandalism, employee assault - Starbucks


Starbucks Malaysia has claimed that false statements regarding its business have led to violence and vandalism including assault against its employees.

In an Instagram post, the store said it stands for humanity and has no political agenda.

“We only support initiatives aimed at uplifting local communities, demonstrating our commitment to social responsibility and community development,” it said.

The company said it condemns violence, the loss of innocent lives, and all hate.

“We wish to express our deepest sympathy for those who have been killed, wounded, displaced, and impacted following the act of violence and hate against the innocent.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of the world,” it added.

The post does not mention what issue it is addressing, but a Starbucks Malaysia webpage referenced in the post makes it clear it was responding to the boycotts targeting businesses perceived to be supporting the ongoing Israeli offensive against Palestine.

On the webpage, in a question-and-answer format, the company maintained that it is apolitical and denied having to send its profits to the Israel army.

“Has Starbucks ever sent any of its profits to the Israeli Government and/or Israeli Army? No. This is absolutely untrue,” it said.

Starbucks Malaysia said it is wholly owned by a public-listed Malaysian company. To date, it has about 400 stores with 5,000 Malaysian employees including individuals with disabilities.

“For over 25 years, we have consistently demonstrated our commitment to serving the local community,” the brand said.

The company added that it has been in the Middle East for over 20 years with stores in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, and more.

“It is important to note that Starbucks does not have any stores in Israel,” it added.

Union sued

Starbucks has been targeted by boycotts worldwide after it sued Workers United in the US - which was helping Starbucks workers in the country unionise – to stop using the company’s name and logo.

The lawsuit came after the union posted pro-Palestine messages, and the company asserted that it has no official stance on the war and Workers United’s messages featuring Starbucks’ name and logo might confuse customers.

On Feb 22, Starbucks Malaysia franchise owner Berjaya Food Berhad announced a 38 percent drop in quarterly revenue year-on-year, due to a prolonged boycott against its main brand, Starbucks Coffee, amid the ongoing violence in Gaza.

While the company revenue decreased by RM100 million compared to the year before, it remains optimistic that its performance will “rebound and regain momentum, viewing the current situation as short-term and anticipating positive progress moving forward”. - Mkini

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