The stupidity of South African workers’ fight against technology

bwana

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I was at checkers yesterday and they a cashier and two people bagging groceries - compare that to Tesco's (UK) last week where they had one individual covering a dozen or more self-service tills and I can see why Cosatu is pissed.

The thing is... I don't care.
 

scudsucker

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The stupidity of South African workers’ fight against technology

When Pick n Pay unveiled self-service terminals at its Ottery store in Cape Town last year, consumers praised the excellent use of technology to make their lives easier.
When they introduced those self-service terminals in the Observatory P'n'P they were so ****ty that I still go to a human.

They put zero thought into usability, the screen instructions do not match what you need to do. The interaction with the CC machine is clumsy and irritating. The parts that weigh your goods on either side are too low, as is the scanning counter. Also you need some manager to come and "authorise" if you are buying wine. They are a very poor implementation, and if this is what "stupid" workers are fighting about I will join them.
 

Valhallan

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I'm all for new technology but don't fool yourself thinking that automation won't make millions of people redundant.

You make it sound like all people need to do leave their low skilled jobs (Till operator/ Taxi driver ) and start to learn coding or somthing. Most of these poor people can't even read and write, but you think the few new jobs being created in technology will be right for those masses.

I agree that if we don't evolve we won't be compeditive globally, but I'm sure you wouldn't be so glib about it if your ability to put food on the table was under threat.

This is a pathetic piece written without any research, in the US self-driving cars alone will make something like 4mil people in the transportation sector unemployed, what jobs should these people get??
 

Valhallan

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I was at checkers yesterday and they a cashier and two people bagging groceries - compare that to Tesco's (UK) last week where they had one individual covering a dozen or more self-service tills and I can see why Cosatu is pissed.

The thing is... I don't care.
The current unemployment rate in SA sits at 25%, imagine that reaches 50% or more due to automation. Do you think the little electric fence around your house is gona keep you safe if the country colapsis.

Most of the step taken to automate is abount saving corp's money/ Nothing to do with making our lives better. We all need to decide what future we wana live in and how we deal with automation making low skilled workers redundent
 

bwana

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The current unemployment rate in SA sits at 25%, imagine that reaches 50% or more due to automation. Do you think the little electric fence around your house is gona keep you safe if the country colapsis.
Who says make them redundant? Relocate them to other areas of the shop where they can stock shelves and assist customers.

Hell, they could even learn how to install electric fencing. I may need one if your doomsayer prophecy comes to pass.
 

Eric

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Cosatu said it would oppose the self-service terminals and even threatened boycotts – as the technology was “anti-worker, and anti the objectives of South Africa”.
Cosatu - just reinforcing the need for self service.
 

bwana

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FWIW self service tills are only really useful for small shops. The sort of things you'd use the [oft long queued] 10 items or less tills for. Those one or two cashiers replaced by the self service tills could easily supervise 5-6 of the new tills.
 

Slamz

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The current unemployment rate in SA sits at 25%, imagine that reaches 50% or more due to automation. Do you think the little electric fence around your house is gona keep you safe if the country colapsis.

Most of the step taken to automate is abount saving corp's money/ Nothing to do with making our lives better. We all need to decide what future we wana live in and how we deal with automation making low skilled workers redundent
i agree with this... as much as i am for automation, which i can run my small little business from, i would rather have a human clicking things than something just moving its way automatically... yes it saves money drastically, but at the cost of a few people who now dont have food at home... i'd rather keep a little overhead so i can make a small difference in someones life than try and save money, which i would probably use for a luxury i dont need... sometimes is better to think of the greater good than ourselves
 

Geoff.D

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IF we had a normal unemployment rate in SA THEN we can entertain all these ideas. Right now it is far more important to get more people employed than to make larger profits for companies. Especially when so many persons do not have the skills to be re-skilled to undertake other more important tasks.

So the blanket introduction of technology in our environment is nothing short of total stupidity. It needs to be thought through and done in a logical manner that benefits society. And for sure not to increase the profits of a few.
 

Eric

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FWIW self service tills are only really useful for small shops. The sort of things you'd use the [oft long queued] 10 items or less tills for. Those one or two cashiers replaced by the self service tills could easily supervise 5-6 of the new tills.
Based on South Africa's experience of self service tills, they will need a cashier to service those too. I've seen them fail spectacularly at international airports where people aren't familiar with them.
 

Eric

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IF we had a normal unemployment rate in SA THEN we can entertain all these ideas. Right now it is far more important to get more people employed than to make larger profits for companies. Especially when so many persons do not have the skills to be re-skilled to undertake other more important tasks.
Preaching to the choir - it's Cosatu who needs to be reminded of that. They claim to be for employment yet work hard to make their members unemployable.
 

thechamp

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Most of the step taken to automate is abount saving corp's money/ Nothing to do with making our lives better.
Amen, if it was indeed about improving the shopping experience of the consumer then the shops can start by making sure all the tills are manned instead of the usual three out of ten.

Greed is all this is, nothing else.
 

Geoff.D

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Amen, if it was indeed about improving the shopping experience of the consumer then the shops can start by making sure all the tills are manned instead of the usual three out of ten.

Greed is all this is, nothing else.
Yes! Spot on!
 

McT

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The current unemployment rate in SA sits at 25%, imagine that reaches 50% or more due to automation. Do you think the little electric fence around your house is gona keep you safe if the country colapsis.
Disagree. They can be redeployed. If PnP were clever about this, through training they could use your so-called 'redundant' employees in other areas of the shop's operations. Yeah, there will be a few who don't care much for getting off their rump, but most can be employed elsewhere.

I do find this whole thing rather amusing. The employment of technology is (in)direct result of their strikes, picketing and service unfriendly approach to the customer. The more they protest, the sooner alternate business friendly workarounds will be employed. This is virtually assured to be the fruit of that which they sowed.
 

boanergesza1

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How far do you want to take this "don't automate, we'll lose jobs" thing?

Should we stop using machines in mines as well and just use hundreds and hundreds of laborers? Should we stop using ATM's and Internet banking, and move everything back to branches? That will create HUGE amount of jobs as they will need hundreds and hundreds of tellers and a branch of every bank everywhere. (Pah! who needs cellphone banking!)

What about the construction industry? Instead of using excavators and specialized digging equipment why not just use 100 people with shovels!
And to send cargo around, instead of having trucks driving around we just get a long line of people who pass your parcels from one hand to the other....
 
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