Oregon

Union-Backed Ballot Initiative Would Limit Grocery Stores to 2 Self-Checkout Machines

The Oregon AFL-CIO argues that self-checkout machines are costing jobs and increasing social isolation.

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Labor unions in Oregon are taking aim at a new threat to the working man: self-checkout machines.

On Thursday, the Oregon chapter of the AFL-CIO, a federation of unions in the state, submitted the first batch of signatures required to get the Grocery Store Service and Community Protection Act on the 2020 state ballot. The measure would forbid Oregon's grocery stores from operating more than two self-checkout machines at a time.

"The widescale use of self-checkout machines in our state's grocery stores is part of a deliberate corporate strategy that relies on automation to reduce labor costs and eliminate jobs," Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlin said in a statement. After the state attorney general drafts an official ballot title for its measure, petitioners will have to collect 112,000 signatures in order to qualify for the state ballot.

The text of the ballot initiative details a number of ills allegedly caused by self-checkout machines.

These include the loss of grocery store jobs, the enabling of underage alcohol purchases, and an increase in "social isolation and related negative health consequences." The text also mentions difficulties the disabled or elderly sometimes have with operating the machines.

The state's Bureau of Labor and Industry would be empowered to fine noncompliant stores the equivalent of one day's salary and benefits for their highest-paid retail clerk. That's for the first offense; further violations would result in increased fines.

The Willamatte Week reports that the initiative comes in the midst of tense salary negotiations between the grocery store chain Fred Meyer and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555, an AFL-CIO-affiliated union that represents grocery store workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. In late August, the UFCW voted to authorize a strike should negotiations with Fred Meyer break down.

One could interpret this initiative as a way of applying pressure on Fred Meyer during these negotiations. It's not hard to see why labor organizations would want to effectively require stores to hire more of their members.

That perhaps explains why the public-spirited arguments offered by the Oregon AFL-CIO for their measure are so weak.

For starters, grocery stores continue to maintain a hybrid of self-checkout machines and full-service checkout aisles. Folks who have difficulty operating self-checkout machines or who enjoy bantering with clerks can still opt to have an employee to scan their groceries for them.

And while a reduction in labor costs might be a bad thing for unions, it's generally good for customers, who reap the benefits of lower prices. These same consumers can then spend the money they save on other products and services, creating more jobs that don't need to be mandated into existence.

Indeed, the arguments advanced by the Oregon AFL-CIO's ballot initiative could just have been deployed a century ago to prevent grocery stores from transitioning to modern, human-staffed checkout aisles the group is now trying to preserve. Back in the day, customers had to wait on grocery store staff to assemble their orders for them. The introduction of self-service grocery stores in the early 20th century allowed patrons to stroll the aisles themselves, picking out which goods they wanted. The change saved shoppers and stores time and money, creating the far more convenient stores we know today.

Few would argue that we'd be better off if lawmakers in the 1920s chose to ban self-service grocery stores in an effort to save jobs and prevent "social isolation." Cracking down on self-checkout machines seems equally foolish.

NEXT: Mississippi Retreats on Stupid Attempts to Censor 'Veggie Burger' Labels

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  1. “The widescale use of self-checkout machines in our state’s grocery stores is part of a deliberate corporate strategy that relies on automation to reduce labor costs and eliminate jobs,”

    Brilliant deduction, Sherlock.

    1. Of course he’ll never be able to figure out who’s responsible for encouraging businesses to replace workers with machines.

      1. It has nothing to do with minimum wage laws, he can tell you that!

    2. The machines don’t take breaks, call in sick or require maternity leave. The unions still don’t get it.

      1. They don’t get paid to take vacations
        Or let me alone
        They spy on me
        I try to hide
        They won’t let me alone
        They persecute me
        They’re the judge and jury all in one

      2. The machines don’t take breaks or require maternity leave, but they do call in sick. You’ve never seen one display an “out of order, call maintenance” message?

    3. Self check out and self ordering is the greatest thing to come out of the fight for 15 movement. for years while standing at check out having some slow ass cashier scan my groceries I would say to my self “man I could do this 10x faster than the are” and it’s true I can. Also i love the self ordering machines at fast food places cause lets face it we have all dealt with a fast food employee while ordering who just a fucking dick

    4. So the Unions will end that cost savings to the business and convenience to the customer to save some minimum wage jobs. When customers can do it themselves with no training and get through the lines faster they are not jobs that should be saved.

  2. an increase in “social isolation and related negative health consequences.”

    When I’m done picking out my groceries, the last thing I want is to have to deal with a bored teenager that would rather be doing literally anything else.

    1. If I wanted more social interaction I’d let the orphans spend less time in the salt mines.

    2. What if she’s hot? Nothing like a few dad jokes to up your spirits.

      1. Checking out hot teenagers is not something I’ve been into for some years now.

        1. You’ll come back to it in a few years.

    3. Where I shop they seem to put the more on-the-ball people at the checkout and have the bored teenagers stock shelves and push carts around the parking lot. SO if I have more than a few items, it’s usually faster and more pleasant. The prices I’m paying includes the cost of having someone bag my groceries and load the cart. So I’m going to use that service. They should give a discount for using self checkout.

      1. The price you’re paying assumes a certain percentage of people are going to use the self checkout. If they switched to a system where you get a discount it would hit both sides; self checkout would be a bit cheaper than current prices, but normal checkout would be a bit higher

      2. I’ve seen that too. It works only because the lines are jam backed with people who lost their coupons somewhere in the bottom of their purse.

        1. And *YOU* get to wait for them to find them.

  3. an increase in “social isolation and related negative health consequences.”

    Sort of like being in an ICU after trying to cross a picket line manned by peaceful union members?

  4. Not another racket! I’m sure that the Unions haven’t lost all sense of morality and wouldn’t donate to or coerce politicians into giving in to their rent seeking. The public wouldn’t stand for it!

  5. I do not want laws passed against them but self checkout lanes are a terrible experience if you have more than a couple of items.

    1. I do not want laws passed against them but self checkout lanes are a terrible experience if the person in front of you have has more than a couple of items.

      FIFY

      1. How did you fix it? You has no idea how many people he has rolling around upstairs.

    2. What with all the crap that requires human intervention (e.g., “Unexpected item in bagging area.” “Item requires age verification.” “Improper item.” ) and multiple bullshit hardware, software, and human factors problems the Union should be trying to get an attendant for *each* self-checkout station.

    3. I dont even use the things.

      If prices of groceries went down by me saving them labor costs, then maybe.

      Until then, its an option for those who want to do all the work and pay the grocery store owners for the privilege.
      The average grocery store is a large supermarket. It averages about 45,000 square feet and brings in about $14 million a year, which comes out to about $500 per square foot of sales industry-wide. The industry as a whole earns about $400 billion yearly.

      I DO NOT want any laws dictating how you pay for groceries.

      1. Meh. You get to quickly GTFO of there rather than spend 10 minutes in line just to buy a bottle of booze.

        Oh wait, I live in California so I can’t use self-checkout for booze. Carry on.

    4. Some self checkout machines work. Others are a joke. At one grocery store that I have stopped going to, it flashes for an employee if you have the temerity to bring your own bag. Every single time. And if you don’t bag your item fast enough it will lock up and flag an employee again.

      They’ve got a full time employee who’s only job is to override the machines when they flag a customer.

    5. “I do not want laws passed against them but self checkout lanes are a terrible experience if you have more than a couple of items.”

      Do you chase kids off your lawn?

    6. Seriously?

  6. I live in Oregon. There is a Walmart five minutes from me. I don’t go there very much, since their near-total reliance on self-check-out means I have to spend yet more time in their store. I am retired, and “not hurting,” financially, and the dollar or three I might save over, say, Fred Meyer, which is about ten minutes from my home, simply isn’t worth it.

    That being said, that savings, by all appearances, is important to a whole lot of people, especially young families and older folks on limited incomes.

    The government, no matter by what process such legislation is passed, has no business telling companies how to operate in regard to how to best-serve their customers. Customers should be free to make such decisions. That’s what free markets are all about. Forcing WalMart to raise its prices, by eliminating these cost-saving practices, will only hurt those who may be already struggling to make ends meet.

    1. “will only hurt those who may be already struggling to make ends meet.”
      That’s because the employers of those people are not paying them a living wage. This is why we need a national $15 minimum wage law.

      /sarc

      1. Yep.

        And then, due to cutbacks, those traditionally underpaid workers, mostly new to the job market, can rest better sitting at home, not making $8 or $10/hr and not developing work experience or a job history to help them get a better job later on.

        /sarc

  7. Self checkout machines are great for short orders and competent shoppers, but they were otherwise constantly causing problems. Mechanical error that required shutdown and maintenance, refilling cash bins, idiots who try to use coupons, idiots who try to remove items, idiots who scan items incorrectly…and they’re not even truly self checkout. Every store has a self checkout attendant. Human cashiers are far more reliable for the general population. Lots of stores are moving away from self checkout independent of union interference. These unions are probably riding the coattails to bolster membership and get those dues up.

    1. Most of those problems are easily dealt with by having 6 or 8 self-checkout spots in place of 1 or 2 cashier lanes. Knowing that, you’ll quickly understand why the unions have decided to “compromise” by allowing just 2 self-checkouts per store.

  8. It’s Oregon. The purpose of a grocery store is to serve the needs of its stakeholders by providing good jobs at good wages, giving back to the community by providing hiking and biking trails for the neighborhood, and healing the planet by selling only free range, organic, locally sourced, fair trade, gluten free food in recyclable packaging. Profits are not on the list of what grocery stores exist for and are actually proof that you’re not giving back enough, you bougie pig.

  9. Oregon is the state with people too stupid to pump their own gas right? So this follows.

    1. +100

    2. Not anymore. At least not if you live in a rural county. (Apparently urban Oregonians are still that stupid.) But at least they’re not New Jersey.

  10. “The Oregon AFL-CIO argues that self-checkout machines are costing jobs and increasing social isolation.”

    Last time I remember people talking in a grocery checkout line, a Democrat accused (or lied, YMMV) another Democrat of being a racist.

    1. Did you beat the shit out of them? I hear it’s OK to do that now to any leftist you see because Antifa.

      1. Aww, were you trying to make a funny?

        Lovely fail there.

        I could send you a link…but I don’t have the interest.

        Enjoyed your “sick burn” though. Truly put me in my place.

        VICIOUS!

      2. You should know by now that you can’t shame the shameless, Zeb.

        1. True. See Zeb.

  11. First step, Unionize the voting machines.

    1. Bender for President

  12. “…the enabling of underage alcohol purchases,…”

    Not if they’re like the self-checkouts here in Va., that require a human to do an I.D. check before they’ll register the purchase.

    1. It’s the same in IL, IN, WI, OH, KY, and I would assume every other state

        1. CA straight up bans the purchase of alcohol at self-checkout. Unions win again.

          1. Nah, that was just California legislators being their typical dumb selves more interested in grandstanding about preventing underage drinking.

      1. Yup. That is a job. At our supermarket they have one person there for 4 self checkouts to help people out and swipe the beer and wine. Harder stuff is a separate section of the store with its own checkout.

    2. It is truly astonishing how much power over legislation people who have never actually experienced anything have.

      The union goons REALLY think they will let you buy alcohol with no ID? Hell, I cannot buy cold medicine or diabetes supplies without having to have a human rep assist at the self checkout.

      1. Here you have to go to the pharmacy counter for pseudafed.

        Which reminds me. Back when I was a young guy starting out and hopeful they kept the condoms behind the pharmacy counter. So my first time feeling a little nervous I walk up. There was this attractive checkout girl. I told her what I wanted and she gets the pharmacist. He peers down at me over his glasses and says “what size?” She is cracking up the whole time. I was mortified. Fun days.

    3. Fred Meyers is Kroger’s. At least in the west, they were the first to get into self checkout. I remember my kid and I working the self checkout at King Soopers and City Markets (Kroger’s in CO) almost 20 years ago. I have bought alcohol at Kroger’s stores using their automated machines in 5-6 states throughout the west, and the experience is identical: right after you first scan alcohol, a screen pops up requiring age verification. The attendant running that bank of machines has to come over, prove their identity to the machine, and then authorize the sale. Or, more accurately, that you are >=21. This is obvious, because you soon learn that if you are also buying tobacco products, you should validate your age for alcohol (21) first, before you validate for tobacco (18). Otherwise, you go through validation twice. Their U Scan machines operate essentially identically, in each of those states, except for the audio welcoming their frequent customers to the store, with different club names for different store names, but all sharing the same card database (I have used my City Market card in all of these states).

      Bottom line – Kroger’s U Scan machines have always, from the first time I used one of their machines, almost 20 years ago, required cashier approved age verification for the purchase of alcohol and tobacco products.

  13. Hate those machines. I don’t go shopping so I can be put to work, supervised by an attendant or otherwise.

    1. +100

    2. You have to get the groceries off the shelves, don’t you? Or do you shop at some hidden “full service” grocery store? I’m sure some people at the turn of the last century felt the same way you do.

      1. Most stores will assign an employee to help you if you have difficulty taking items off the shelves. Also, most big stores now have systems that let you “phone in” your order, so all you have to do is drop by and pick it up. They’ve got you covered.

        1. The big grocery here is actually one of the best places I go for customer service. They do all that, they will take your groceries to the car if you need help.

          My wife has a gluten sensitivity. At the shelves they have colored tags so you can easily find the gf products. It seems that grocery shopping has actually gotten better over the years.

          1. Gluten is in everything you moron.

            Haha. Buy some organic food, so I can make more money off regularly grown fruits, vegetables, and meat.

            1. No it is not. It is a protein, actually a group of proteins found in certain cereal grains, primarily wheat also barley, oats and some hybrids.

              It has nothing to do with organic, GMO or any of that.

              Non celiac gluten hypersensitivity is a known medical condition. My wife underwent extensive medical work up for this.

              But as an expert in agriculture you would know that. Shouldn’t you be out bringing in the crops or something?

              We have a poster here who is an actual rancher. He can and has given us detailed information on the subject. You on the other hand claim to be a farmer. Yet you make ridiculous statements like “gluten is in everything” and confusing it with organic food. You don’t really know shit about agriculture do you?

            2. Just if you want to learn something which seems doubtful.

              Gluten does not exist in vegetables, fruit, or any meats, fish, birds, or pork. Nor does not exist in corn, rice or quinoa. So it does not “exist in everything”.

              Moron. Heh.

              As a complex protein most people and animals can digest it. This relies on proteases both endogenous and from gut bacteria. Few big words there for you so I will slow down, you know, so you can understand.

              A subset of people have celiac disease, this is a long known illness in which there is total intolerance to gluten because of enzyme deficiency. There is another subset of people who have transient or long term intolerance to Gluten because of endogenous or gut bacterial imbalances this is termed gluten intolerance syndrome or gluten ataxia.

              Some people have misunderstood this as “Gluten bad”. It is not for the vast majority, myself included. I eat bread , pasta, gluten whatever at will and do just great.

              I have great expectations for you LC. Try to understand, then speak.

      2. Selecting items is the fun part, for women anyway… finding bar codes, not so much.

  14. “The Oregon AFL-CIO argues that self-checkout machines are costing jobs and increasing social isolation.”

    The reason I use the self-checkout line is because I want to undermine the need for AFL-CIO labor and because I don’t want to socialize with their union’s members.

    Incidentally, there’s this thing called “freedom of association”. It’s right there in the First Amendment:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    —-First Amendment

    It shouldn’t matter what the people of Oregon want. Our freedom of association is protected by the First Amendment and has been extended to the states–no matter what the voters of Oregon or their elected representative say. That should prohibit the AFL-CIO from forcing grocers and other retailers to associate with them, and if they don’t like it, then that’s just too bad. Maybe the AFL-CIO should move to a country where they don’t have the First Amendment–or, better yet, maybe the AFL-CIO should push to repeal the First Amendment.

    . . . see how well that goes over with average voters.

    1. There’s also this thing called “rent-seeking”.

      No, it is not the key to widespread and growing prosperity.

    2. “Peaceably assemble” means you have the right to quietly build legos for the state.

  15. Can we pass a law that to get in the self-checkout lane, you have to be able to first show proficiency by operating a digital watch?

  16. Incidentally, here’s the future the AFL-CIO fears so:

    FAQs

    What is Amazon Go?

    “Amazon Go is a new kind of store with no checkout required. We created the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line. With our Just Walk Out Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! No lines, no checkout. (No, seriously.)”

    https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=16008589011&tag=reasonfoundation-20

    By my count, I see 15 of these stores already up and operating–with more on the way.

    Having to stand in the checkout line is among the most annoying things average people do on a regular basis. In some ways, it’s worse than getting stuck in traffic.

  17. > Labor unions in Oregon are taking aim at a new threat to the working man: self-checkout machines.

    Now that they’re legalizing self serve gasoline they gotta ban self server groceries. Geez what a fucked up state. Even Californians can manage to pump their own gas and bag their own groceries.

    1. “Even Californians can manage to…”

      Not setting a very high bar there.

  18. Where is Andy Yang when you need him? He should be all over this. 🙂

  19. Bill Burr has it right.

    These places want you to go through the aisles, pick out the stuff you want, then go up and scan it yourself, then pay for it yourself.

    He suggests that you go up to the ‘self-checkout’ machine, wait 15 or so seconds, then leave if nobody shows up to take your money. “I wanted to pay you, but nobody came to take my money, so I took my shit and left.”

    I agree.

    1. Make sure you bring enough cash to make bail.

      1. I almost did that once in my life. Two bottles of water and a candy bar. Stood around inside the convenience store shouting “hello” for ten minutes, considered walking out, then the cashier finally came out.

        1. Today if you did that, they would identify you from the security cameras and a SWAT team would break down your door and shoot your dog at 2:00 am.

          1. They dont. Handwrite a coupon for 100% off and leave it on the machine.

            Guarantee these stores will cut back on self checkout machines.

            If your store wont accept my money, then I will pick the free shit and carry out to my vehicle as a good employee.

      2. Whos gonna call the cops? The store has no employees working. Its all machines that are broken half the time.

  20. The story of Piggly-wiggly, the first grocery store where customers could walk down aisles and pick out groceries rather than having a clerk fetch them from the back, is a nice little piece of history.

    The next big revolution was the invention of the shopping cart about 20 years later.

    Oregon is just a strange place. I think you are still not allowed to pump your own gas there.

    1. “The story of Piggly-wiggly, the first grocery store where customers could walk down aisles and pick out groceries rather than having a clerk fetch them from the back, is a nice little piece of history.”

      Northern boy, I had no idea what P W was until reading a book on business and finance some years back:
      “ANNALS OF FINANCE about Clarence Saunders of Memphis, who in 1919, founded the Piggly Wiggly Stores, a chain of retail self-service markets situated mostly in the South & West, with headquarters in Memphis. Saunders is remembered on Wall St. as the last man who engineered a real corner in a nationally traded stock.”
      https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1959/06/06/a-corner-in-piggly-wiggly

      A corner. On a grocery store stock named Piggly Wiggly!
      You can’t find a more amusing story in finance.

      1. I have a piggly wiggly hat I bought when we were in S.C.

        The man was a genius.

  21. Talk about rent-seeking!!!

    Self checkouts are the greatest thing since the modern self-serve market! No longer do I have clumsy oafs pawing my veggies, throwing canned goods on top of ripe fruit, meat juices leaking into the lettuce. I can select what I want, and handle is as I want so that it get home in decent condition. If people are so lazy or incompetent that they can’t deal with self checkout, maybe they ought to stick to eating at McDonald’s.

    1. You must be young, healthy, and smart. For those who are elderly, physically challenged, or, yes, of limited intelligence, self checkout can be very difficult. Smart retailers accommodate such shoppers.

      1. Healthy and smart, yes. Young, not so much.

        No one is talking about eliminating cashiers altogether, and given the current climate, if they did, they’d have an ADA lawsuit on their hands in about 2 seconds.

    2. You have meathead pawing your fruits and veggies to put them in the aisles.

      Keep sucking corporate dick.

      Technology is great until its a stupid waste of time and money.

      1. Meathead may be pawing the stuff on the to the shelves, indeed, but since the “modern” (20th C) supermarket allows the customer to select the items themselves, I get to pass over the abused stuff in favor of the intact.

        As to corporate dick sucking… there are a number of vendors at the local farmer’s market that keep the stuff behind the bench, and give you what you request, rather than allowing you to select it yourself. Corporate is not necessarily evil.

  22. I will never forget my first time at an Oregon gas station and I got out to start filling my gas. I was shouted at to the effect you cannot do that in Oregon. I let a young person fill the tank, I asked him if we was training to do something else. Answer no.

    So, for me this stupidity is promoting more stupidity. This guy should have been going to trade school or college. Working full time at a gas station because he could is a terrible waste of life.

    1. At least Gomer Pyle could fix your car.

  23. The unions opposed the end of elevator operators..got to have aHUMAN smart enough to run the dumb things. Else the public will hurt somone, and ONLY we Union geeks are competent enough….

    or how about cabooses and crew on long freight trains? Same thing.

    In Oregon the unions fight tooth and nail every time anyone in the Marble Zoo in Salem suggests they end the “you are too stupid tp pump your own gasoline in Oregon” scam. (the worst fuel spill I’ve ever seen was when a “professiional” attendant pumped about five gallons of diesel onto the apron at the fueling island. AFTER he ripped me for forgetting I was suddenly stricken wiht a wide deep streak of stupid as soon as I entered the State of Oregon, and thus dared to pmup my own fuel. HE stopped me, and told me HE had to do it. Then he peroceeded tp flood the concrete with MY diesel fuel…mine? Of course.. I had to pay for it, then leave it there on the ground. Brilloiant.

    how about the brakeman on street cars and trolleys, long after driver controlled braking systems came into use.

    Thanks to unions, every highway consruction site has rules, whereeby the guy running the backhoe cannot get off, pick up a shovel, and clear that little bit of stuff the bucket just can’t quite handle without help. Nope. Gotta have a whole nuther “techincian” to hold one end of the Idiot Stick, standing there shewing his cud while the backhoe operator runs the big machine…… essentially doubling the workforce to get that done.

    The union’s faux “concern” about the loss of sicial interaction because of the self-check area is bogus… at my favourite place to shop, on the VERY rare occasioins I use the self stands, the others standing in the queue are always up for conversation

  24. “The widescale use of self-checkout machines in our state’s grocery stores is part of a deliberate corporate strategy that relies on automation to reduce labor costs and eliminate jobs,”

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  25. I did self-checkout at Loblaws and was done in a minute, while all the people waiting in line had maybe a 10-15 min wait or longer; I’ve been there. On busy days there are NO cashiers waiting in the back to be called up. Thanks God for self-checkout

    And really, jobs that machines can do easier will replace those lacking school or skills. Back in hunter-gatherer days we used to kill and eat the lazy ones so they wouldn’t drag us down, now we’re civilized but our diet is not as healthy as back then.

    Before alarm clocks, people used to get paid to knock on windows to wake people up. I don’t see anyone crying over those lost jobs.

  26. I wonder how many people who will support this legislation have considered the following fact:

    Given that limiting the number of self-checkout aisles will increase the cost of food, at any given moment, people will have less money to spend at other stores after buying food, which, oh, yeah, also have employees which need to be paid.

    So, let’s sacrifice a paid position at a hardware store (for example), in order to create one at a supermarket. Yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense.

    1. AlbertP
      September.7.2019 at 12:01 pm
      “I wonder how many people who will support this legislation have considered the following fact:…”

      The same number of people who support M/W laws when the job-killing incentives are made clear.
      Per Tony here, they call that ‘magical thinking’.

  27. Google ‘Featherbedding’ and you’ll see another good example of unions fighting cost cutting technology.

  28. Of course this idiocy comes from a state where it’s illegal to pump your own gas. Won’t be long before people using the self-checkout lanes are called Nazis but the mayor of Portland.

  29. Reminds me of another service that is gone now but was once popular. The Automat.

    These were diners with full selections of meals, desserts, everything. No counter and no cashier. The diner just inserted the money, opened a door and got their meatloaf with mashed potatoes. The only workers were behind the machines filling them up with fresh selections.

    I think I remember going to one of those when I was a kid. Was fun at the time.

    https://www.thoughtco.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-automat-4152992

  30. OF COURSE unions want to “limit” self checkout lanes. They can’t extort union dues and other fees from machines and GOD FORBID they let people have a free choice in the way they check out.

  31. “The widescale use of self-checkout machines in our state’s grocery stores is part of a deliberate corporate strategy that relies on automation to reduce labor costs and eliminate jobs,”. Well, yes, finally the union thug gets it. If unions could deliver cost reduction, they wouldn’t be on their way out.

  32. > it’s generally good for customers, who reap the benefits of lower prices.

    Do the grocery stores that employ self-checkout stations really provide lower prices or is this just speculation? It’s possible but it’s also possible that the company instead decides to keep more profits. I see no evidence for this assumption.

  33. Weird. I hate self checkout but that being said, places like Fred Meyers, mycoles (https://mycoles.org) and Amazon are working on checkout as you shop solutions. Also, does anyone still go to the grocery store to shop? It’s way too easy and cheap to have groceries delivered.

  34. No union employees mean no union dues. There is no other reason for this action. Union reps shouldn’t be concerned about AI or automation replacing them at the union halls, no one has created mafia AI as of yet.

  35. What’s next… are they going to not let you pump your own gasoline????…. oh wait… OREGON.. LOL!!! where pumping gas is a career.

  36. The only reason self-checkout machines don’t already dominate retail is that for some of us, they don’t work and aren’t being fixed.

    Take me. I’m over 6 feet tall, so there’s no way I’m going to comply when one of these machines needlessly demands that I set objects on a shelf 6 inches from the floor. And when I don’t, it refuses to do its job any further. But somehow I’m not a protected group under the ADA, so I don’t expect this ever to change. Result: I don’t bother trying to use the machine.

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