Customers in Canada are rebelling against the use of self-checkout machines in malls and stores. They argue that these devices will lead to folks losing their jobs. One person also made the point that “Machines don’t pay taxes!” And according to a recent study conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), there are a lot of Canadians who firmly stand against the deployment of self-checkout registers. Many of these folks feel that these machines are likely to increase unemployment in their country by reducing jobs. In an interview, one shopper named Dan Morris told the CBC: “They’re trying to herd everyone in, get everyone used to the self-checkouts to cut down on staff. Machines don’t pay taxes. They don’t pay into the pension plan.”
The majority of the people interviewed by the CBC echoed Morris’ sentiment, stating that they believed self-checkout machines would plunge a lot of families into great financial distress. Tom Eburne resides in Chilliwack, British Columbia, and he says that he flatly refuses ever to use these machines. He declared that he’s determined to do whatever he can to make sure stores keep cashiers employed. In an interview with the CBC, he notes: “We will resist as long as we can. I think any job loss is a step backwards.”
Other shoppers further argued that these machines would cause an economic crisis and hurt their country’s economy. They believe that thousands of people would be out of work should these automated check-out stations become fully deployed.
That said, there are others who argue that this technology will benefit businesses by reducing labor costs. Sean Mullin, Executive Director of the Brookfield Institute of Innovation + Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University in Toronto, said:
“To kind of cling to an old model just because it involves workers is not something that companies and others are set up to do.”
Peggy Eburne, Tom’s wife, was interviewed by the CBC, she stated that she had never used an automated check-out machine in her life. Peggy said that she believes it isn’t right to automate every job that humans are doing now.
However, she also admitted that their resistance to this technological change might be futile. Despite that admission, she said that they planned to continue their boycott of self-checkout machines to do their part to protect cashier jobs.
“Maybe the little we do makes no difference at all, but we like to stand by what we believe in.”
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