As more retailers turn to tech, Macy’s store employees score victory in challenging self-checkout in mobile app

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When Macy’s rolled out a new self-checkout feature in its mobile app in 2018, the department store touted how customers could browse stores, but skip the hassle of the checkout line. For some store associates, however, that set off alarm bells — and concerns that it would jeopardize their jobs or dock their pay.Three years later, a union that represents Macy’s employees has scored a victory in challenging the tech-based approach and how it cuts them out of commissions. An independent arbitrator ruled last week that Macy’s violated its bargaining agreement and said the company must exclude departments, such as men’s suits and cosmetics, that have commission-based pay from self-checkout.The grievance was filed by about 600 employees at six stores in the Boston area and Rhode Island who are part of the United Food and Commercial Workers.

UFCW represents 1.3 million workers, including over 11,000 Macy’s workers in major cities including Seattle, San Francisco and New York City.The labor dispute, more...