Promised computers haven’t materialized

Ford workers still waiting 18 months later

Ford workers in Windsor were thrilled when the company offered them free home computers in February 2000. More than a year and a half later, they’re starting to lose faith that they’ll ever receive the promised machines.

Ford’s initial offer was greeted with much enthusiasm. The employees would each be entitled to a free basic system and printer, worth about $1,000. They could choose to chip in some of their own money for more powerful models.

In addition, workers would be able to access the Internet for $10 a month and would be entitled to free computer training and access to a telephone help-line.

Ford has more than 6,000 workers in Windsor. While it still claims to be committed to its promise, it’s run into problems with ordering and delivery at a pilot project run at its Oakville truck plant. Ford plans to have eliminated these problems by Christmas, though it’s not clear when workers will actually receive their computers.

Since the CAW did not negotiate the deal, there is nothing it can do to speed up the process.

Many employees have concluded there is no point in waiting any longer and are buying their own computers.

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