SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – A San Francisco coffee company is turning its back on a lucrative contract with Salesforce because of the tech giant’s alleged dealings with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“We realized that it was time to take a stand, make a statement,” said Nick Cho of Wrecking Ball Roasters.
Cho says this stand is going to cost him a bunch of beans. The CEO rejected a $40,000 deal to provide coffee for Dreamforce, an annual convention put on by Salesforce. He made the decision after he found out Salesforce has a contract with U.S. Customs and Border protection.
Cho is an immigrant from Korea who came here when he was one-and-a-half.
“Forty thousand dollars is a lot of money,” says Cho. “We realize that would pay for our green, our raw coffee supply for two whole months. But our conscience isn’t for sale.
“People are being separated for days, weeks and months and it’s just something we couldn’t overlook,” said Cho.
Earlier in July, demonstrators marched in front of Salesforce headquarters saying out loud what more than 650 employees said in a letter: That they believe it is inhumane for Salesforce to continue working with border agencies.
CEO Marc Benioff has spent millions in local philanthropic efforts and also famously threatened to take business away from the states of Indiana and Georgia because of LGBT laws he considered discriminatory.
But in this case, he tweeted Salesforce will continue its relationship with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, saying “We don’t work with CBP regarding separation of families. We don’t have an agreement with ICE.”
Salesforce went on to pledge $1 million toward organizations helping families reunite on the border.
But the most prominent of those groups called ‘Raices’ declined a $250,000 donation from Salesforce.
Employees of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have made similar demands of their own companies, urging them not to help ICE and other government entities.