Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Internet Access For Workers

A US union has convinced the Ford Motor Co. to offer its 350,000 workers worldwide, a home computer, colour printer and Internet access, for $5 a month. John Howard reports.

Beginning in April, the offer is one of the largest efforts by a company to equip its workers with computers.

"This program keeps Ford Motor Company and our worldwide team at the leading edge of e-business technology and skills," said Ford president and CEO, Jac Nasser.

The deal, coordinated by PeoplePC Inc. requires monthly payments of $5 for three years or just $180 total.

Hewlett-Packard will build the computers and printers while Internet access will be provided by UUNET, an MCI WorldCom company.

Ford employees will not have to pay the shipping costs and the taxes that regular customers pick up. And they will be able to upgrade with things like CD recorders and DVD drives at their own expense.

United Auto Workers president, Stephen Yokich, said the idea of giving workers computers had been raised during negotiations for a new labour contract last year.

"It's something we talked about at the bargaining table and it's something that we worked hard on," Yokich said.

The union represents about 100,000 Ford workers in the US. Ford has about 100,000 salaried employees worldwide, and another 150,000 hourly employees outside the US.

"All our people are very excited about it," Ford worker Mike McCain said. "This will include everybody. The have-nots will be a little more equal than the haves."

The union believes other car makers are likely to follow Ford's lead.

Meanwhile, President Clinton wants to expand computer access to low income families and has proposed a $2 billion plan to help low-income families gain access to computers and the world wide web.

"It would be tragic if this instrument that has done more to break down barriers between people than anything in all of human history built a new wall because not everybody had access to it," Clinton said.

" Our big goal should be to make connection to the Internet as common as connection to telephone is today." he said.

President Clinton's plan has widespread political support and will succeed on that basis.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On America’s ‘Green New Deal’

‘Socialism’ is more of a political scare word than an objective condition. Even in the US, as Nate Silver’s 538 website pointed out this week there is polling evidence that modern Americans are inclined to treat socialism as meaning ‘equality’ rather than the ‘government ownership or control’ that Americans understood the term to mean back in the 1940s... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Nelson Fire And Climate Change

The Nelson fire has been a useful warning of things to come, given how climate change will (a) increase the likelihood of reduced rainfall and drought-like conditions in many parts of New Zealand, which – obviously – will raise (b) the fire danger and (c) the cost of providing the communities at risk with the enhanced firefighting capabilities that they’re going to need. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Listening To Ocasio-Cortez About Tax

In its attitudes to tax, New Zealand has been the last colonial outpost of Thatcherism. Change, however, may be in the air. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The US Exit From Afghanistan

To state the bleedingly obvious, US military forces have done a good deal of harm over the past 50 years from Central America to Asia to Africa. That history is now tending to obscure the harm that’s being done by the polar opposite impulse: American isolationism... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit Vote Aftermath

So, what happens next? Normally when a major policy like this gets so crushingly rejected – by 230 votes, when Theresa May had reportedly been hoping for a defeat by “only” 70- 100 votes – the PM would resign and/or a fresh election called. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our History Of Selling Out The Kurds

For the past 100 years, the West has sold out the Kurds over and over again. So much so that it came as a surprise yesterday when US National Security advisor John Bolton appeared to walk back the latest act of betrayal... More>>