The Social Safety Net: Patients, Paupers, and Pensioners
The more successful companies had the wherewithal to provide employees' families with greater protection against the harsher shocks of life. Company-sponsored medical services made up a key part of the mines' social safety net. All operating mines provided at least a minimal level of medical care. Companies hired the doctors, built and owned the hospitals and dispensaries, ordered the medicines, and purchased the medical instruments. The social safety nets strung up by the companies offered workers some security but were far from perfect. The companies succeeded far better in maintaining paternal bonds with older employees than they did in establishing bonds of cooperation, trust, loyalty with their newer men.
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