Starbucks Canada to close locations Monday for bias training

The Starbucks Coffee outlet on Stavanger Drive in St. John’s closed at 3 p.m. Monday to train its staff on race bias and inclusion

Starbucks has over 1,200 company-operated and licensed locations in Canada and employs more than 14,000 full- and part-time staff.

The move comes after Starbucks faced global backlash stemming from an incident in April at a Philadelphia store, where two black men were arrested for trespassing while waiting for a friend at a table without ordering.

Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson sued Starbucks and reached an out-of-court settlement where the coffee chain agree to create a $200,000 grant for entrepreneurs.

On May 29, Starbucks closed its more than 8,000 US locations for similar training.

Canadians looking for an afternoon pick-me-up on Monday will have to look elsewhere than Starbucks as every location will be shut down for anti-bias training.

A Philadelphia police spokesman said Starbucks employees called 911 after the men refused to leave.

"This is only the second time in our history that we've taken such bold action", Conway wrote in the memo. "The first was 10 years ago when we closed our stores to flawless our espresso". Stores will open again as usual the following day.

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