Through a deal with PeoplePC, for instance, Ford initially offered its global workforce a new Hewlett-Packard PC, HP printer and Internet access from UUNet for $5 a month.
Since the first computers were delivered in April 2000, some 160,000 eligible Ford employees, out of a total of 350,000 worldwide, signed on to the plan.
The launch of the new benefit was one of several at larger employers (see A PC In Every Home? ), intended to encourage workers to use the Internet, heighten awareness of benefits data and other employee information posted to the Web, and increase workers’ overall professionalism.
But, as Ford began implementing cost-cutting measure earlier this year (see Ford Cost Cuts Target 5,000 Salaried Workers, Ford Execs Lose Bonuses and Ford Offers Early Retirement Incentives ), Model E fell under the axe. Employees first received a notice that the program would be “deferred” until the fourth quarter. No equipment has been distributed since then, and employees have now been told that Ford has pulled the plug on the plan.
Employees who already have computers and printers will be able to keep them.
Read more at Bill Would Allow Tax-Free PC Benefits
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