Oregon measure would ban alcohol from self-checkouts

It also would apply to sale of tobacco and medication

SALEM — There'll be no more zipping through self-checkout to buy a six-pack if a bill in the Oregon Legislature makes it through.

The measure, being considered in the House, has labor and management on opposite sides, The Oregonian reported. It would require alcohol sales to be conducted through the regular checkout lines.

Union grocery clerks say they can lose their jobs for letting underage people buy alcohol, said Jeff Anderson, secretary-treasurer of Local 555 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. And, he said, it's easier for underage drinkers to slip through when a clerk has to watch several people at one time at the scanners. "You should see some of these college kids," Anderson said. "They're having a field day running through these U-scans. They'll scan a six-pack of pop and then bag a six-pack of beer."

Joe Gilliam, head of the Northwest Grocers Association, said the scanners haven't caused clerks problems in weeding out underage buyers. The equipment allows sales to proceed only after a clerk can check identification or see that the buyer is clearly old enough.

The bill would make life less convenient for customers, he said. With self-checkout, he said, the scanners "get you out of there right away."

The bill would also apply to sales of over-the-counter medication, as well as to tobacco products and prescription drugs. The latter items already are kept behind counters.


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