Economy

Starbucks CEO says arrests of two black men 'reprehensible'

Starbucks CEO says arrests of two black men 'reprehensible'

Starbucks will close its corporate offices and more than 8,000 USA stores for several hours on May 29 to conduct racial-bias training for almost 175,000 workers.

Starbucks came under fire after staff at one of its Philadelphia locations called police who arrested two African-American men who had asked to use the store restrooms. But Ward says apologies are useless unless changes are made and that Starbucks needs to treat all their customers the same way. He has also met the two men who were arrested.

The aim is to prevent discrimination in Starbucks stores.

All Starbucks company-owned branches and corporate offices will be closed on the afternoon of Tuesday 29 May.

The closure could cost an estimated $20m in lost latte sales.

Starbucks is closing stores to train workers on issues such as implicit bias.

The company has enlisted advisors from The Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, public policy organization Demos, and the Anti-Defamation League, as well as former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to develop the curriculum that will be taught during the training.

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Officials say they plan to close 8,000 USA stores for several hours next month to conduct racial-bias training for almost 175,000 workers.

The manager called the police after the men didn't order anything.

Amateur video showed police placing the pair, who were accused by shop staff of trespassing, in handcuffs.

Mr Johnson said the video was "hard to watch" and that the actions taken were "wrong" and "reprehensible".

African American COO Rosalind Brewer is the latest Starbucks executive to step in for damage control in the wake of viral videos circulating online showing police officers arresting two Black men in a Philadelphia Starbucks for no apparent reason.

"My responsibility is to look not only at that individual but to look more broadly at the circumstances that set that up, to ensure that this never happens again", he said in the interview.

It involved baristas scribbling the words "Race Together" on cups and attempting to "engage customers in conversation through Race Together stickers available in select stores", Starbucks said.


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