This is progress. One must keep in mind that the sole responsibility of the persons managing a company is to produce higher profits for the company. This means reducing costs and increasing revenues. The natural and JUST progression should always be towards this end. By eliminating unskilled workers that have been deemed unnecessary by management, after careful (I’m sure) consideration, the company can put to better use the capital that they have previously used to pay these unskilled and, at the risk of sounding crass, useless employees. This means that, ultimately, the company will have more capital to invest in activities and/or products that will generate revenue and (hopefully) profit.
It is NOT the responsibility of the company (those running it) to provide jobs to people. The company does not “owe” the cashiers a job. It is the responsibility of the cashier to continually strive to become better educated and/or skilled so that he or she can progress professionally. If the cashier fails to recognize or simply refuses to respond to the progression of technology that will put them out of a job, it is the cashier’s “fault” for not responding to changing conditions and being “left behind”. It is not the “fault” of the company nor should the company spend more than about 2 seconds contemplating the morality of the move that will cause X number of people to be out of a job. The only moral obligation that the company has is to it’s owners/share-holders.
One must also be mindful of the fact that, as a company grows and streamlines with the use of modern technology, they are creating (in most cases) NEW jobs. The wonderful difference here is that, often, these new jobs are SKILLED jobs. This means that, the elimination of 5 unskilled cashiers might create 1 skilled job (for example, I’m sure that the automated/computerized POS systems require maintenance and they require developers to create/maintain/update the software). If the unskilled cashier would have simply spent time learning to maintain/fix the computerized POS or write software, they would find themselves moved out of a low-paying job into a higher paying CAREER. This is WONDERFUL progress for sure. But, who’s responsibility it is to make this happen? The company? Absolutely not!! It’s the individual’s responsibility to his/her self.
In summary, if any “moral wrong” has been committed here, it was committed by the cashiers. They have failed themselves – the worst moral sin that I can imagine!
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