After Being Warned For Years Unions are Now Attacking a New Nemesis: Self-Checkout Machines

Labor unions were warned.  They were warned time and time again, but they didn’t listen, because they think we still live in times when they run the show.

The unions are now pushing an initiative that takes aim at a new threat to their members:’ self-checkout aisles.

I have no problem with union members.  If they want someone else bargaining for their pay and benefits, that’s fine.  They work hard.  They built much of America, but their bosses are political, and in many cases care more for their own or the union’s advancement than the advancement of their members.  Kinda sounds like Democrat politicians, n’est pas?

Unions were warned that if they kept pushing for things like a $15 an hour minimum wage (hey Bernie, pay attention!) for jobs that don’t produce at least $15 an hour worth of work, they were going to cause lots of trouble for the workers.

It’s just a case of simple math, folks.  If you’re doing a job that pays you $15 an hour, an employer who sees your work is producing say $17 an hour, he sees he’s making a profit, and he’s good with that.  But when you have a job that the employer is forced to pay $15 an hour while the worker only produces $13 an hour in work, the employer is going to take a hit for that worker.  Times that by how many workers the employer is forced to pay $15 per hour and the business is in real trouble.

We have hit that wall, and employers in many places have put in self-checkout machines where there is no need for a worker, because the machine will guide the customer through the process.

We see McDonald’s going through the same thing with what is affectionately referred to as RoboBurger, where there’s a little kiosk computer screen that does point-of-sale (POS) <snicker> processing for a customer to order their food.

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These systems don’t have to pay $15 an hour, they don’t have to pay benefits, they don’t take days off, call out sick, take a vacation, or have a crappy attitude.

So, the Oregon chapter of the AFL-CIO came up with a flowery-sounding bill they have submitted the first batch of signatures to get on the 2020 ballot.  They want it on the ballot!  The name they chose is the Grocery Store Service and Community Protection Act.

I am LOL-ing right now!  A community protection act, as if the point-of-sale automation of businesses are harming the community, and their strong-arm tactics, in conjunction with state, local, and federal Democrat politicians who give them whatever they want so long as those donation checks keep a rolling in, are not.

This bill, if passed (and it is Oregon after all) will forbid grocery stores in Oregon from having more than two self-checkout machines at a time.  Union bosses and Democrats are all about forced control instead of freedom and liberty.

“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.

The ballot initiative itself carries a number of ills allegedly caused by these eeeeeeevil self-checkout machines, which 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 elderly aren’t stupid.  They will get in line with a real human.

The unions are acting like all checkout aisles are run by machines, and that’s just not true.

If the bill becomes law then the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industry would fine noncompliant stores the same as one day’s salary and benefits for their highest paid retail clerks, and that’s only for the first offense.  Increased fines result for further violations.

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While reduced labor costs for the businesses are considered a bad thing for the unions, it’s usually as very good thing for customers who are able to purchase things at lower prices.

The dirty little secret of labor unions is that they never want to talk about the fact that every time a union contract has been negotiated, the consumer gets screwed, because union contracts rarely ever end with union workers making less wages or having their expensive benefits cut, and the only way businesses can afford the increase in their cost of doing business with labor unions is to increase the cost of their products or services.

And grocery stores are just the beginning, the proverbial foot in the door, if you will.  Once they have implemented this law on grocery stores you will see the unions fighting against innovations of all kinds, for every and any business that has union labor.

The unions were warned for years about automation replacing workers if they didn’t stop demanding businesses try to stay afloat with the fuzzy math of costing more to pay a worker than the value the worker provides to the employer.  That math doesn’t add up, and I am now going to make a new prediction.  If this bill passes, and the unions continue to fight for higher pay rates than their employees produce, they will arbitrate all of their workers out of their jobs, because businesses aren’t going to remain open at a loss.

It’s just simple math combined with the ideas of capitalism that when consumers are able to spend more money on the products or services because the prices remain low, it automatically leads to the creation of more jobs for workers that won’t have to be forced into existence by government.


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