Samsung apologizes for workers' deaths and illnesses

Samsung apologizes for workers' deaths and illnesses
Samsung Electronics has apologized to workers and their families for cases of serious illness and even death.

In resolving a long-standing dispute that lasted for more than a decade, Samsung has made a formal apology to all victims of work-related diseases. Samsung chief executive Kim Ki-nam expressed his deep regrets on behalf of the company to the victims.

"Beloved colleagues and families have suffered for a long time, but Samsung Electronics failed to take care of the matter earlier," Kim said, reports Yonhap.

"We lacked being considerate of such pains and promptly settled the issue. Samsung Electronics also did not fully and completely manage potential health risks at our chip and liquid-crystal display production lines. Today, we wish to express a sincere apology to the workers who suffered from diseases, as well as their families."

The dispute started after the death of Hwang Yu-mi from leukemia in 2007. She had worked in a Samsung chip production line and her father, Hwang Sang-ki, kicked off a campaign against Samsung seeking to win redress for staff who had been affected.

"Honestly, today's apology made by a Samsung Electronics CEO is not sufficient for the victims of the work-related diseases," Hwang Sang-ki said.

"But I will consider the apology as Samsung Electronics' resolution."

Over 300 people reportedly fell ill and over 100 have died. A mediator came to a settlement that is accepted by both Samsung and the Supporters for the Health and Rights of People in the Semiconductor Industry (SHARPS). As part of the settlement, Samsung will pay compensation up to 150 million won (US$132,000) per illness. It includes congenital diseases suffered by children of affected staff.

However, the agreement does not acknowledge that the workplace environment is directly related to the diseases affecting the employees.

Written by: James Delahunty @ 23 Nov 2018 12:11
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