|Issue No 10||23 April 1999|
View entire latest issue
Vizard Offers Unions Cheap Computers, But Is It a Pup?
Y2K Crashes Bank Holidays
Carr Says Thank You To Union Movement
Crew Saved by Message in a Bottle
Unions to take on Qantas Over Foreign Jobs
No Training on Coat-Hanger Sparks Job Fears
Council's Hypocrisy Sparks Green Ban Call
Shoddy Editor Sparks May Day Confusion
STOP PRESS: Employers Bid to Scrap ANZAC Day Fails. For Now
Most Workers Online readers don't need to be told of the amazing potential the Internet offers for working, communicating and changing the way we look at the world.
It's The Network, Stupid
The ACTU has been negotiating with businessman Steve Vizard a deal that delivers him the movement's network of members in return for cheap home computers and connections for our members (see main news story).
Because the negotiations have to date been private, Workers Online has not reported them. However, a story in this week's Bulletin quoting an unnamed senior union official "rhapsodising" about Vizard and his plan mean it is now in the public domain.
Accordingly, we take a critical look at unions and the information economy; focussing on the potential of the union network (see Michael Gadiel's column) and the dangers of e-commerce (Chris Connolly's Guest report).
On one level, Workers Online believes the ACTU leadership is to be congratulated on its vision in recognising the importance of computers for the union movement.
But we fear it has not realised that the provision of computers is just the tip of the iceberg. The real game is about developing networks of people for the nascent e-commerce market, which is predicted to see home-shopping become the norm within a decade.
This is a major decision for the movement, perhaps it's most important in the next decade. Unions must realise they have what entrepreneurs want most, a network. It is not something we should trade away lightly.
|Chris Connolly on the e-commerce Monster||Nervous Mungoes Flock to Alliance||Michael Gadiel on Networks and LaborNET||Piers on Justice Kirby|
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005