Helsinki (21.04.1999 - Juhani Artto) The personal computer hardware and software package negotiated last summer by the central organisation SAK on behalf of the 1.1 million members of its affiliated trade unions has sold well. Over a few months more than 12,000 union members took advantage of the offer. Most of these members (76 per cent) chose the leasing alternative, while the remainder bought the whole package outright.

The package consisted of a Pentium PC with all peripherals and programmes, an Internet connection and everything the ordinary union member's family needs at home.

Encouraged by the success of the initial package, SAK has negotiated a new, updated combination of hardware and software from its suppliers. Sources at SAK believe that several thousand families will seize this opportunity.

Trade union movements in other Nordic countries (except of Iceland) have launched similar projects. Sweden took the lead, followed soon after by Finland and now Norwegian and Danish trade union members are also being offered special deals. It is estimated that in these four countries almost 100,000 union members will have benefited from these offers by next autumn.

One additional benefit which has arisen is that the low prices negotiated by the union organisations for such high volume supplies has caused a general fall in computer market prices.