Self-Checkout Technology has France in Uproar.
In France Sunday is still considered a day of rest, especially for the laboring class. In fact, it’s a law — after one p.m. on Sunday in France it is illegal for workers to work, whether in a factory or in a store. This puts a bit of a crimp in retail sails, unless, of course, you do your shopping online. And that’s what has brick and mortar stores in an uproar in Paris and outlying districts. They feel that the new online technologies and the stodgy old labor laws of the last century have combined to cut their profits to the bone.
So how do they fight back? Simple; fight fire with fire — or in this case, technology with technology.
In Paris, and other large French cities, self-checkout machines are now doing duty for real live clerks — who can now enjoy their Sunday afternoons and evenings off without a word of complaint from their employers.
But the French Confederation of Labor is not liking the use of self-checkout machines on Sundays, or any other day of the week. Their newsletter says that this technology spells the end of live clerks in stores, the loss of jobs, and moving France towards the unspeakable horror of . . . “American-style consumerism.”