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For Teens Or Unions? Law May Ban Alcohol Sales At Self-Checkout Counters

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Is a new law requiring supermarket customers to pay for alcohol with a human cashier instead of at a self-checkout counter aimed at underage drinking or is it just a union ploy to preserve jobs?

KNX 1070′s Jon Baird reports on a seemingly innocuous law that could turn into a potential labor fight.


Union officials and other supporters argue the law would not only prevent teenagers from buying alcohol, but would also save the jobs of supermarket cashiers.

“Kids really do drink too much and I think it would be a chance for them to get away with it,” said one shopper.

Grocery store officials are less supportive, alleging the legislation is simply an effort by labor unions to save jobs that are gradually being replaced by increasingly sophisticated retail technology.

Supermarkets and other outlets already use other safeguards to prevent underage customers from buying booze, including alarm systems that alert employees to verify the age of the buyer.

Advances in biometric technology can also scan and match driver’s licenses to customers — a job traditionally left to clerks behind the counter.

“The computer systems can do all that,” one man said.

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