retail news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• In Oregon, the Malheur Enterprise reports that a federation of Oregon retail employees is circulating a petition that would call for a state ballot initiative that would "limit each grocery store to two of the checkout kiosks."

According to the story, "The AFL-CIO contends self-checkout kiosks make customers feel socially isolated, particularly elderly people, and that the kiosks let stores rely more on part-time workers and leaves workers “feeling devalued.” They also claim self-checkout stands make it easier for minors to buy alcohol and for people to steal from stores."

“We have been consistently concerned about the impacts of technology and automation on the livelihoods of working people, especially when they have no voice in how technology is used in their workplaces,” said Graham Trainor, president of the Oregon AFL-CIO. “You can see expansion of self-checkout machines in stores across the country and in Oregon.”

What a crock. This likely is less about keeping elderly people connected and keeping people employed (especially at a time of such low unemployment) than it is about helping the AFL-CIO maintain some power and leverage. But it may pass … Oregon, after all, is one of two states (the other is New Jersey) that doesn't allow people to pump their own gasoline.
KC's View: