A Surrey letter writer wants stores to provide more employment and municipalities to ban self checkouts. (Bloomberg photo by Luke Sharrett)

A Surrey letter writer wants stores to provide more employment and municipalities to ban self checkouts. (Bloomberg photo by Luke Sharrett)

LETTER: Women hit hardest economically by coronavirus, Surrey woman argues

Petition calls on area municipalities to ban self-checkouts to boost women’s employment

Dear Editor,

Open letter to Mayor Jack Froese, Mayor Doug McCallum, Mayor Darryl Walker, MLA Jinny Sims, Minister Harry Bains.

A recent report by the Royal Bank of Canada has revealed that Canadian women are the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While women make up 45 per cent of the downturn, they will only be 35 per cent of the returning work force. There are many factors to this, including the fact that women fill the majority of positions in retail, tourism, hospitality, and food services.

• READ MORE: Feds probing ways to address COVID-19 impact on women

The health requirements for COVID-19 are stringent and ever changing. Sanitization, face masks, Plexiglas barriers, and social distancing are the norm and the constant in keeping everyone safe.

Self-checkouts are also used to move people along and limit physical contact.

The use of self-checkouts takes away jobs that could otherwise be filled by employees who were put on hold/paused or let go. This also holds true for any self-service event, such as filling up at the gas station.

While some self-service may be healthier, it makes economic sense to employ people wherever possible.

I propose that the leaders of our communities create bylaws for self-checkouts be closed and for employees to be given the opportunity to provide the service and human connection that is so desperately needed at this time.

This will give women and men the chance to get back on their feet and provide for their families.

Please visit my petition.

Margaret Shearman, Surrey

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CoronavirusLetter to the Editor