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Metro CIO: RFID to Make Thousands of Jobs Superfluous

The CIO of German retailer Metro Group acknowledged in an interview that the deployment of RFID across Metro's enterprise "will render thousands of jobs superfluous."
Jan 13, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

January 13, 2005—Zygmunt Mierdorf, the CIO of German retailer Metro Group, whose aggressive RFID initiative has made headlines alongside Wal-Mart's, acknowledged in an interview with German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche that the deployment of RFID across Metro's enterprise "will render thousands of jobs superfluous." While the effects might sound devastating from a labor perspective, Mierdorf suggested that displaced workers could be shifted to customer service positions, benefiting both them and the company.

There have been several studies on the potential labor effects of widespread RFID adoption, typically authored by independent research companies. It is surprising that an executive so closely involved with an RFID initiative would readily address the issue. While Mierdorf claims that affected Metro workers will simply be reallocated, it is probable that, industry-wide, bar code scanning workers will simply be let go.

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