TRANSCRIPTION OF INTERVIEWS WITH EXECUTIVES OF PARKER PEN AND JOHNSON WAX: SPRING 1975

by Allan D. Cooper
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Spring 1975
6 pages
Type: Memorandum
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
A memo reporting what five Political Science students learned from interviewing executives of Wisconsin-based multinational corporations about their views of the economy and politics of the Republic of South Africa. These officials of Parker Pen in Janesville were interviewed: Alfred P. Diotte, Vice-President of Administration; Clarence Shaeffer, Vice-President of Finance; and Phil Hull, who had recently inspected their East London facility. Diotte explained that Parker Pen's manufacturing facility, which produces Parker and Eversharp, moved from Johannesburg to East London in 1972 due to a "shortage of labor" in Johannesburg. Hull did not respond to a specific question of whether the company supported the apartheid policies of the South African government. Shaeffer discussed political activities in Mozambique, Rhodesia, and "Southwest Africa," consistently using terms such as "radical," "revolutionary," and "nationalist." Hull talked about recruiting procedures for employment in East London, which could attract 9,000 people applying for 30 jobs. Frank Hirsch is contracted by Parker Pen, as well as by Polaroid Corporation, as a distributor for the South African operation. College scholarships are available to Africans from Parker Pen, as well as subsidized meals. Less formal interviews were conducted with two officials of Johnson Wax in Racine: Richard M. Spinks, Assistant to Vice-President for Public Affairs, and James E. Bunck, Director of Social and Environmental Programs. They detailed their company’s interest and achievements in corporate social responsibly in communities from which they conduct business, which they sought to encourage through example. Johnson Wax does business in 40 countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, "East Africa," and South Africa. The document includes THE JOHNSON'S WAX CREED. The document mentions Xhosa, Mdantsane township, and A.D. Britton.
Used by permission of Allan D. Cooper, a former member of the Madison Area Committee on Southern Africa.
Collection: Madison Area Committee on Southern Africa papers, Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections