After cancer cases and deaths among hundreds of workers at its chip and display factories, technology giant samsung has issued an official apology.
Company president kim ki nam expressed regret for not doing "enough to address potential health risks in the chip and lcd panel production lines," according to south korean tv stations. "We sincerely apologize to those who have suffered from illnesses, as well as to the families of those who have been affected."Samsung agreed to settlement of pain and suffering claims.
The market leader’s move on memory chips, smartphones and TV sets followed years of wrangling with representatives of the victims’ families. Both sides had agreed this month to follow the decisions of a mediation committee and settle the dispute. Among other things, samsung declared its willingness to make up to 116.000 euros (150 million won) in compensation for pain and suffering to former and current employees whose illness can be attributed to the handling of chemicals at work.
The regulation applies to all those who have worked in the semiconductor and LCD plants since may 1984. Samsung had already apologized once in may 2014 to employees and their families who had contracted leukemia or other cancers, but also stressed that the company did not recognize any connection.
The group supporters for the health and rights of people in the semiconductor industry (SHARPS) has documented 320 work-related illnesses among workers in samsung factories (as of june 2018). Of the victims, 118 have died. The figures were not confirmed by samsung. The group also plans to set up a fund worth nearly 39 million euros for industrial safety and health.
The scandal dates back to 2007, after a female worker at samsung died from the effects of leukemia. Their father hwang sang gi has been campaigning for the affected workers and families ever since. He will accept samsung’s apologies, hwang said on tv on friday. "Compensation for damages is important, but prevention is more important." Hwang’s group demands, among other things, that samsung disclose what chemicals are used in the production process.