Self-reflect before you self-check

Who is self-checkout working for?

Convenient self-service — or a self-serving way for the corporations to make more money?

With only a few scannable items and a clear lane ahead, self-checkouts can be alluring. But there are many factors that actually reduce their efficiency and provide an inconsistent customer experience.

Plus, when a self-scanner is installed, workers can lose hours, and the ones left in-store are stuck with even higher workloads.

What’s happening on the other side of these machines?
Despite the strain on retail workers and the inconsistency of the machines, corporations continue to change employees’ hours and to inflate food costs for customers—all while making record profits.

Three blue and red self-checkout machines that are not in use are positioned at the front interior of a grocery store.

How cashiers do it better

A human cashier is the only sure-fire way to get the job done without frequent errors and interruptions. Here are just some of the perks of choosing a regular checkstand:

What you can do

A middle-aged man wearing a denim jacket, white tee shirt and blue tuque looks confused at a self-checkout machine in a grocery store as an older woman and a younger woman holding a baby look up at him from the self-checkout machines they are using.

Hear it from the cashiers

“[Self-checkout] is supposed to be faster, but it usually requires a cashier anyways and
due to understaffing, it can take a while for a cashier to get [to the self-checkout].”
–Retail Worker

“[Customers are] very upset with the fact that they’re working for the store and not getting paid.”
–Retail Worker

“Having one or two cashiers on, and expecting them to deal with their lines, deal with [online] orders and deal with self-checkout help when needed (which is often), all while getting paid minimum wage is beyond insulting.”
–Retail Worker

“The self-scan checkouts are too sensitive. The scale on the bagging side is not clearly marked,
and every time someone bumps or shifts that scale it freezes the machine, with the intention of stopping customers from “stealing.” This means that an attendant has to go over and unlock the machine every time this happens, causing customers to get upset and [this] overworks the attendants.”
–Retail Worker

Who is behind this campaign?

UFCW Local 832 is a union representing roughly
7,000 retail grocery workers here in Manitoba.

We do this by negotiating and enforcing contracts that can improve wages and benefits, provide more respect on the job and increase job security.

Hearing that self-checkouts are placing undue strain on retail workers. We’re advocating for customers to help reduce their reliance on machines to keep jobs in our community, regulate workloads and put a limit on corporate greed.

Want to learn more about joining our union? Visit our JOIN US page.

Graphic text on a blue background that reads :
Self-reflect before you self-check. The choice is yours–where do you want your money going ? 
UFCW local 832 logo
An older woman wearing a red shirt is holding two red apples and appears stunned and confused while standing at a self-checkout machine in a grocery store.