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Petition aims to limit self-checkout lanes

By Oregon Small Business Association,
(Photo: Flickr, Magnus Masnke)

Union leaders who want to limit the number of self-checkout stands in Oregon stores to no more than two can soon begin gathering signatures to put the question on the ballot in November.

The Oregon AFL-CIO must collect 112,020 signatures on Initiative Petition 41 to place it on the ballot next fall, according to The Oregon Capital Bureau. They contend self-checkout stands that rely on technology instead of people cut jobs, devalue employees, leave customers feeling socially isolated, and make it easier for minors to buy alcohol and shoplifters to steal from stores.

But Joe Gilliam, Northwest Grocery Association president, described the labor union’s claims as perplexing and misguided, especially when customers seek convenience and less hassle while shopping as evidenced by the increase in online and home delivery orders. The self-checkout stands fill public demand.

Sandra McDonough, president and CEO of the Oregon Business & Industry lobby group, challenged the measure’s description and asked the Supreme Court to review it. The Supreme Court certified the description, enabling proponents to begin collecting signatures.