In an effort to stem the outcry over the arrest of two black men at one of its stores, Starbucks will close 8,000 USA stores Tuesday afternoon for anti-bias training for its employees. The training sessions come in response to an incident in Philadelphia last month where a Starbucks manager called police on two black men who were waiting to meet someone. Employees will also get the chance to share their own work experiences with one another. A sign posted at a San Francisco store said the store would close at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday and reopen at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
More than 100 company-operated Starbucks stores on Long Island will close early Tuesday for an afternoon of anti-bias training for workers, but all is not lost for Starbucks addicts. "We've had certain shareholders call and say, 'How much is this going to cost and how do you justify this?' My answer to them was simply: We don't view it as an expense. We are providing our associates with training this year that focuses on our values and how we care for our customers, communities, and each other", a spokesperson for the company told Business Insider.
The arrest was caught on video and went viral.
"Starbucks is a place where people congregate and employees should be accepting of all people", said Pullen. Last week, the company said the training session will be closed to the media. In the weeks since the incident, Starbucks changed its policies to allow people to sit in its stores or use its bathroom even if he or she did not purchase an item or drink. Police arrested the two men for trespassing, but they were later released without charges, leading Starbucks and police to publicly apologize.
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And he said the problem is not confined to Starbucks but exists at plenty of other retail chains where he has seen people profiled.
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Robinson and Nelson also accepted a symbolic, $1 compensation from the city of Philadelphia, alongside a promise from city officials to create a $200,000 young entrepreneurs program.
"I know that for me, welcoming people in my life starts first with sharing who I am", Common says in the video, according to a transcript. The NAACP's Sherrilyn Ifill, who is one of Starbucks's advisors on its anti-bias training material, has previously noted that "this can't be a one-off".