Starbucks Egypt has allegedly laid off scores of workers after a boycott campaign of the coffee chain, amid the deadly offensive on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, reportedly leading to losses for the company.
Starbucks is believed to have been financially affected by the boycott in Egypt, which was fuelled by claims that the Seattle-founded coffee franchise provides support to Israel, something that the company has repeatedly denied.
Starbucks has not operated a franchise in Israel since 2003 but has been a target of boycott campaigns for the MENA region, partly because its former CEO, Howard Schultz, is an outspoken supporter of Israel.
One employee told The New Arab, on condition of anonymity due to fears over their job, that "the company had informed several employees and workers they would be discharged due to a substantial decline in sales attributed to the ongoing boycott campaign".
The source did not provide any further details about the alleged financial losses or how many staff had been released.
"Currently, they cut down expenses... and forced the remaining workers to do more work than they were supposed to in order to compensate for the shortage of staff," he said.
The Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) condemned the reported layoffs in a statement this week, offering free legal support and advisory services for the sacked workers and arguing that the company had violated Egyptian labour law.
"Egyptian labour law stipulates that in case an employer wishes to reduce the workforce for financial reasons, the company is legally required to submit a request for downsizing the establishment… before a committee [at the labour bureau] formed especially for this purpose," the union said.