.Sainsbury’s workers are forced to live with a daily reminder that many of their jobs are soon to be replaced by self-scan check out machines. Astonishingly the sign above, stuck on the wall in Sainsbury’s, Lewisham, suggests they are now even given targets to work towards their own unemployment.
The tragedy is that in a world run for people, self-scan tills could be a great invention. Anything that makes the process of food distribution more efficient would simply mean the workers in that sector could take a well deserved rest. But in a world run for private profit, it means greedy supermarket bosses use new technology as a way to lay off workers and save cash. They don’t spend that cash on giving the remaining workers a pay rise of course. They don’t even spend it on cutting the price of food – have you noticed prices falling since self-checkouts were introduced?
Instead the spare cash lines the pockets of Sainsbury’s share holders and directors – often some of the richest people in the UK who haven’t lifted a finger to earn this money. Sainsbury’s made £788 million in profit in the last year. In London customer service jobs with the company are advertised at £7.07 an hour, almost £2 less than the London Living Wage.
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