People Are Refusing To Use Self-Checkout Because They ‘Kill Jobs’

Nowadays, we are convinced that everything can be resolved by the application of new technologies.

However, the fact that we keep ignoring is that we understand less and less about the world we live in, while these powerful technologies assume more control over our everyday lives.

New technologies are actively shaping modern society, often leading to numerous social issues. Yet, to become aware of their current impact, we need to understand how we have come to place so much faith in them.

Over the last several decades, people are replaced by computers that do their job easy and fast, and now, many are rebelling against this trend.

Customers in Canada are now refusing to use self-checkout machines in malls and stores, claiming that these devices will lead to folks losing their jobs.

One person also made the point that “Machines don’t pay taxes!”

A Dalhousie University grocery shopping study found that out of 1,053 Canadians surveyed in October 2018, slightly more than one-quarter said they never use self-checkout at the grocery store, not even for a small purchase.

The self-checkout resistance has even sparked petitions and memes on Facebook, and a widely shared Canadian meme tells shoppers to “never use a self-checkout” because “they kill jobs.”

During a precipitous era for retail automation, online sellers such as Amazon have come to dominate consumer commerce, and some companies, like Amazon and Walmart, are now turning their attention back to the real world, where they’re working to use sensors and artificial intelligence to open stores that have no cashiers at all.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) conducted a study that found that a lot of Canadians opposed to the deployment of self-checkout registers.

They believe these machines are likely to increase unemployment in their country by reducing jobs and will, in turn, plunge a lot of families into great financial distress.

Other customers also maintain that these machines would cause an economic crisis and hurt the economy, as thousands of people would be out of work.

On the other hand, others argue that this technology will benefit businesses by reducing labor costs.

As technology advances, it may get harder to opt for the cashier line.

The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs report revealed that cashier jobs, along with occupations like a bank teller and payroll clerk, are “expected to become increasingly redundant” over the next four years. The explanation is that these “routine-based” jobs are more susceptible to being replaced by advancing technologies.

Sean Mullin, Executive Director of the Brookfield Institute of Innovation + Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University in Toronto, claims:

“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, who resides in Chilliwack, British Columbia, said that she has never used an automated check-out machine since she believes it isn’t right to automate every job that humans are doing now.

Yet, she added that their resistance might be futile in the end, but they will continue their boycott 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.”