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Offshoring retail jobs: New ‘virtual cashier[s]’ work from Nicaragua for $3.75 an hour

Toronto Star: 'Many Freshii customers have already encountered “Percy.”


'The video-calling device is attached to cash registers at a select few Freshii locations across Ontario, and it lights up when customers approach the counter.


'On the other end of the screen is a cashier wearing a headset, ready to take orders. Unlike the Freshii workers that wrap burritos and mop floors, these “virtual” workers are nowhere near the store. Instead, at least some of them process orders from a Nicaraguan call centre

nearly 6,000 km away, where they earn much less than Ontario’s minimum wage.


'The program is only in the early stages of testing, but Freshii’s virtual cashiers are part of a wave of outsourcing and automated technology that is slowly changing Canada’s retail industry.


'For many Ontario retail workers, the implications of these innovations raise a daunting question: how secure is my job?'

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