The American coffee chain Starbucks Corp, under fire after the arrest of two African-Americans in one of its cafes, announced Tuesday that it will close all of its USA stores for one afternoon for "racial-bias education" for its approximately 175,000 employees.
The woman who posted the video, Melissa DePino, said a Starbucks employee called police because the men had not ordered anything, while they waited for a friend. Starbucks said it would make training materials available to the employees of those stores, who are employed by the grocery stores or airports where they are located.
The company will train almost 175,000 employees across the country, Starbucks said. Starbucks said its United States company-owned stores and corporate offices will be closed on the afternoon of 29 May for the training, which will eventually be incorporated into the instruction process for all newly-hired employees.
Starbucks plans to close over 8000 stores for an afternoon on May 29, to train nearly 175,000 workers about racial-bias. And, that ignores the cost of paying all employees to come in for a mandatory training in the afternoon - and lost sales due to customer confusion. Given that the two men did nothing other than request to use the restroom, multiple apologies have followed, and Schultz has visited with CBS This Morning's Gayle King to relay his own mortification over the debacle.
The racial bias training will be provided on May 29 to about 175,000 workers.
However U.S. race relations have proven more challenging, even for a company that touts its diverse workforce - minorities account for 18 percent of Starbucks executives with the title of senior vice president or higher and 43 percent of employees overall.
The release also explained the curriculum for the training "will be developed with guidance from several national and local experts confronting racial bias", including the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Anti-Defamation League.
Starbucks isn't the only company introducing the training in an effort to combat discrimination.