chip bergh levi strauss second quarter earnings sales


Levi Strauss & Co. joined eyeglass darling Warby Parker as well as Apple, Facebook, Google, eBay and a host of other Silicon Valley companies arguing against President Trump’s controversial executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

In all, nearly 100 companies signed on to the amicus brief filed by Washington, D.C.-based Mayer Brown, arguing that the order would negatively impact businesses. The brief was filed to a federal court in Washington State, which was successful in halting the order, at least temporarily.

The filing argued that the ban “represents a significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system of the United States” and that it could inflict “significant harm on American business, innovation and growth” because it would make it more difficult for businesses to recruit, hire and retain employees.

Calling the U.S. a “nation of immigrants,” the brief said that “immigrants or their children founded more than 200 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list, including Apple, Kraft, Ford, General Electric, AT&T, Google, McDonald’s, Boeing and Disney.”

Levi’s president and chief executive officer Chip Bergh sent a letter to employees opposing Trump’s order, noting that, “Any policy that seeks to restrict or limit immigration based on race, nationality or religion is antithetical to what we believe as a company. Our success has been based on our ability to attract and retain the very best talent from all backgrounds, to embrace diversity, to be inclusive and benefit from different perspectives. Restricting the flow of talented individuals will, over time, impact the competitiveness of the country and the companies based here in the U.S.”

He added that founder Levi Strauss was an immigrant.

“We will not sit idly by,” Bergh wrote. “We will stand by our colleagues and their families and offer support to any employee or family member directly affected by the ban.”

Jeff Bezos of Amazon (which is not a part of the filing) and Tim Cook of Apple previously sent letters to employees noting they did not support the ban.

Startup accelerator Y Combinator, which was also a part of the brief, just announced that it would be working with the American Civil Liberties Union to help it make use of the tens of millions of dollars in donations the organization has received since the election.

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