Canadian shoppers are rebelling against the use of self-checkout machines in malls and stores. They are arguing that they're worried they'll lead to job loss.
A study conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has recently shown that there are many people who're against the deployment of self-checkout machines.
According to some people, these machines are likely to increase unemployment in the country by reducing existing jobs.
Speaking Up for Retail Storage Cashiers
One Canadian shopper, Dan Morris, gave his opinion on the issue during a CBC interview.
"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."
Most people support Morris's argument, emphasizing that the self-checkout system would plunge a lot of families.
Tom Eburne, who lives in Chilliwack, B.C, also refuses to use the machines. He's determined to keep the cashiers employed.
"We will resist as long as we can. I think any job loss is a step backward."
Other people argued that the machines would lead to a financial crisis and distress in the country's economy. Thousands of people would lose jobs if the automated systems were deployed.
Apart from retail stores, other e-commerce entities are slowly adopting automated services in their customer relations ideas.
For instance, two of the largest online marketplaces, Walmart and Amazon, are using robotic technology to put up store chains that don't require human services.
Walmart has opened a Sam's Club Now in Texas, which is a cashier-less store. A shopper can only buy items they want using a phone app that scans the items purchased.
Amazon is also expanding its cashier-less concept, Amazon Go. In its physical stores, people can take whatever they need and walk out.
But the stores are installed with a technology that detects when someone picks up an item from a store shelf. Customers will then pay for the goods via their Amazon accounts.
According to a CBC survey conducted on 1,053 retail shoppers in Canada, only 11 percent of the respondents admitted using the self-checkout machines regularly. They argued that it was more convenient and faster.
Self-checkout technology has been in existence for almost three decades, and it has been undergoing improvement and upgrades. But many people still opt not to use it.
Sandra Wilkins, a working mom of two, said:
"It can be classified as a crime against humanity to use one of those machines."
The conflicting Emotions
A large number of social media users rebuked those who were against the use of self-checkout machines. Some people even argued that this technology is helpful as you'll not have to 'endure' the attitudes of cashiers anymore.
Others insisted that the technology will assist businesses to cut labor costs.
Sean Mullin, Executive Director of the Brookfield Institute for 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."
When Peggy Eburne, Tom Eburne's wife, was interviewed, she revealed that she has never used the self-checkout system in her entire life. Peggy insisted that it was inappropriate to automate every job done by humans with machines.
She also acknowledged their resistance may be futile in their campaign to abstain from self-checkout machines to protect cashier jobs, but they aren't backing down.
"Maybe the little we do makes no difference at all, but we like to stand by what we believe in."