Israel-Hamas war boycott forces Mideast Starbucks franchisee to fire 2,000 workers.

Starbucks' Middle East franchisee announced Tuesday that it has fired 2,000 staff at its coffee shops after activists targeted the company during the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

The Alshaya Group, a Kuwaiti family business that franchises The Cheesecake Factory, H&M, and Shake Shack, acknowledged the firings in its Middle Eastern and North African locations.

“As a result of the continually challenging trading conditions over the last six months, we have taken the sad and very difficult decision to reduce the number of colleagues in our Starbucks MENA stores,” the statement said.

Alshaya verified Reuters' claim that it fired 2,000 workers. Asian foreign workers make up many of its Gulf Arab workforce. Alshaya has 1,900 Starbucks stores throughout Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and UAE. It has over 19,000 employees, according to Seattle-based firm. Just over 10% of its workers was laid off.

Pro-Palestinian protestors have targeted Starbucks and other Western brands since Oct. 7, when the war began. Starbucks has focused on combating “ongoing false and misleading information being shared about Starbucks” online.

We have no political agenda,” Starbucks remarked. “We never have funded any government or military operations with our profits.” Starbucks sued Workers United, which unionized at least 370 U.S. Starbucks workers, in October. due to a union social media post supporting Palestine.

As pro-Israel protesters protested the post, Starbucks asked the union to stop using its name and likeness. Boycotters also thought the corporation wasn't aiding Gazans enough.

Starbucks October-December revenue reached a record $9.43 billion, up 8%. That was lower than economists' $9.6 billion expectation, mainly due to activist boycotts. War activists target more than Starbucks. After a local Israeli franchisee offered free meals to Israeli soldiers in October, others called for a McDonald's boycott.

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