14 October 2010

Bob Haldeman Interview (15)

Self-Contained Camp 

Swent: What about health care? 

Haldeman: We had very good medical service. It was excellent. We had 
what they call "womb to tomb" philosophy in everything; 
paternalism to the nth degree. 

Swent: Company doctors, company hospital-- 

Haldeman: Everything. A hospital in every town site. We took care of all 
of the people. We had some excellent doctors, all Chilean 


. . . We imported, without any question as to cost, everything 
they needed. Many people in Santiago would call up and ask if 
they could send their kid up to Sewell to have him operated on. 
So did Anaconda, because we both had to be self-contained. The 
Chilean national health service--government socialized 
medicine--at that time was very substandard. 

So we did a very good job on that, 
and still do today. 

You had your own schools, too? 

The company always did.
We had public schools there, and for the foreigners we had the 
Calvert system. My boys went to the Calvert school in the 
mining camp, and when I moved to Santiago we put them into a 
British boys' school, the Grange. 

Did your wife teach, or did you hire teachers? 

No, the wife of the safety director, the wife of the mill 
superintendent, and the wife of this and that who had experience 
in teaching before in their lives took over the teaching jobs. 
They did a real good job. 

Did the company pay them? 

Yes, a modest, nominal sum, and gave them all the equipment they 
needed. And we gave all medical and other paternalistic 
services to the teachers that the government sent to the public 
schools, and we helped them out with supplies, because the 
government was short on that, too. There are an awful lot of 
indirect subsidies that you have to get along with. We also had 
quarters for the police force; we gave them housing. We had 
18,000 people in our town sites, and we gave them everything, 
plus all the 18,000 complaints that you can imagine. Everything 
you get for nothing is not very good. If you have to buy it 
yourself and take care of it yourself, it's not bad; even though 
it's lousy, you don't complain. [laughs] 

Sewell scene

Swent: So now as superintendent you were getting into all of this. Haldeman: Oh, when 1 got into management, the women used to call me up and say, "The welfare department hasn't changed the light globe in my basement now in three weeks." Oh, dear. And I'm supposed to be taking care of producing copper.

Index to Haldeman Interview 

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