Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Starbucks stores in USA to close down for anti-racial training

Starbucks stores in USA to close down for anti-racial training

Starbucks will close 8,000 company-owned cafes in the USA on the afternoon of May 29 so that 175,000 employees can undergo racial tolerance training.

The announcement from the world's biggest coffee company comes as it tries to cool tensions after the Philadelphia incident sparked accusations of racial profiling at the chain, which is the subject of a boycott campaign on social media.

They were waiting for a friend and they were never charged with a crime.

Philadelphia police released a recording of the call from the Starbucks employee that led to the arrests.

"I had the opportunity to apologize to those two gentlemen for what happened to them", he said. For possibly the first time in history, a CEO got on a plane and flew to the city where an incident involving racial bias occurred and met with the victims. The store manager called the police, and the men were arrested for trespassing.

"Closing our stores for racial-bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities", Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson said in the statement. Schultz faced blowback in 2015 when he urged staff to write "Race Together" on cups to foster a dialogue on the issue.

Schultz added that the axed manager "is suffering herself in her own way".

"When starbucks does these things it feels disingenuous", Richardson said. "They are breaking a promise".

Beyond racial relations, Starbucks has staked much of its brand on its dual promise of providing good customer service and treating its employees well, said John Gordon, a restaurant industry analyst with Pacific Management Consulting Group.

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The company-wide training that will close down all Starbucks stores for the afternoon is happening May 29. Still, as a mini-storage employee, she said she has been aware of her own bias at times in dealing with customers but works to keep it in check. Even the most proactive and equality-focused organizations can be faced with crises when employees take actions that are not in sync with company values. The employees involved in the allegation were eventually fired, and Conley is planning to a file a lawsuit.

It can also help companies avoid missteps. Most recently, Cornel West called out Ta-Nehisi Coates for being the "neoliberal face of the black freedom struggle". It appears that the trainings will actually address the implicit bias and racism that underlie incidents like these.

"It's a tremendous statement that they are making", she said.

When I think about Starbucks, I always go back to 2014. The business chain has invited NAACP and the U.S. attorney general for the conducting training of new recruits.

Few days after the incident, Starbucks made good on its promise to try harder, announcing a plan to shut around 8000 of the company's US-based locations, who will participate so that almost 175,000 employees attend the training program that will address implicit bias, promote inclusion and help prevent discrimination.

The police department continues internal review of the incident, the mayor's office said Monday, and the department is reviewing protocols related to how officers respond to such incident.

"I definitely applaud that".

"The manager made a judgment or a decision that these two African American customers were in some sense undesirable people", he said. "It may also inspire other companies to do the same". Since the program's inception, every year each member of the police department undergoes almost two months of training including taking a quiz to identify their own biases.

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