A brief look at the supermarket plot to dispense of the services of a large percentage of their workers. Where are USDAW is all of this? They are sat in board rooms, chasing peerages, and brown nosing the bosses.
Have you ever used the self-service checkouts in a supermarket? If so, please consider the following.
What is the main purpose of ‘employment’ and ‘work’? For me, it is to ensure that people and their families can live and lead a certain lifestyle. For the boss class its purpose is to ensure their businesses are a success, and to enable them to grow rich and live extravagant lives. If you agree with my view on work, then I would urge you never to use a self-service checkout again!
Supermarkets has introduced these hideous inventions for the sole purpose of replacing workers, and in time, they would like to completely rid themselves of checkout operators altogether. There are around 500,000 supermarket workers in the UK, at least 40% of these will work on a checkout as their main role, whilst a proportion of the rest will work on a checkout at some point during their working week. Supermarkets claim that they will need one member of staff to supervise five self- service checkouts. Once implemented fully this could mean the reduction in over 200,000 jobs in the supermarket sector. Be in absolutely no doubt that this is the medium to long term aim of the supermarkets.
The checkout machines are scab workers, they are brought in on no wages, they will never be off sick, do not need holidays, will not require maternity leave, and will not unionise, and are more than prepared to work twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. Each one will mean the loss of several full and part time jobs. In the future,
I am not a technophobe, and generally technology should be embraced, and used to enhance the workers experience, but never to replace a worker completely. I enjoy human contact and speaking to someone when shopping, this cannot be replaced by a machine. In the future, I can see the only people that supermarkets employ are security guards, because everything will become self-service.
I cannot think of any other industry or sector, were such a flagrant intent to get rid of workers and replace them with machines would have led to absolutely no resistance from a trade union. What exactly do USDAW do? They should be fighting tooth and nail for the workers interests, rather than brown-nosing boards of directors with their damaging and divisive ‘partnership’ agreements, and dreaming of a peerage.
Please show some solidarity with the supermarket workers, and do not use the self-service checkouts, and ask yourself, could you ever be replaced by a machine?