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Self-serve retail hurts jobs

The Editor, It is a matter of stark astonishment to me when, with poll after poll showing jobs and the economy as our top concern, I see people in retail stores dutifully trooping through the growing number of self-serve checkouts.

The Editor,

It is a matter of stark astonishment to me when, with poll after poll showing jobs and the economy as our top concern, I see people in retail stores dutifully trooping through the growing number of self-serve checkouts.

These machines exist for only one reason: To reduce the number of staff and/or reduce hours for existing staff.

Doubtless the retail corporations will deny this. They will hand us the usual clich├ęs about "serving you better," etc., which is quite beside the point.

Common sense tells us that the more machines you have doing the work of cashiers, the fewer cashiers you are going to need.

Retail jobs may not be glamorous but they can be steady and sometimes pay benefits. A clerk job, for some, may mean the difference between making ends meet at the end of the month or not. Or it may mean, for a young person, making next year's tuition.

Write your retail managers. Refuse self-serve checkouts and say why. Keep your own community working.

Doug Rolling,Port Coquitlam