Samsung Electronics has officially apologized this Friday to workers who developed cancer after working in their semiconductor factories, ending a decade-long dispute at the world’s leading chip maker.
“We sincerely apologize to the workers who suffered illnesses and their families,” said Samsung co-president Kim Ki-nam. “We have not been able to adequately manage the health risks in our semiconductor and LCD factories,” he added.
Samsung Electronics is the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world and the largest subsidiary of the Samsung Group, and by far the largest family-controlled conglomerate that dominates the South Korean economy, which has become the eleventh largest economy in the world, but he has also faced accusations of turbulent political connections.
Her de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong was found guilty of bribing former President Park Geun-hye as part of the corruption scandal that depressed her and spent nearly a year in prison before most of her convictions were overturned on appeal and was released.
More than 80 Dead Campaign groups say around 240 people have suffered work-related illnesses after working in Samsung’s semiconductor and screen factories, with 80 dead.
Under an agreement announced earlier this month, Samsung Electronics will pay the group’s employees compensation of up to 150 million won (116,000 euros) per case. The pact covers 16 types of cancer, some other rare diseases, miscarriages and congenital diseases suffered by the children of workers. Claimants may have worked in plants since 1984.
The scandal erupted in 2007 when former workers at its semiconductor and screen factories in Suwon, south of Seoul, and their families said staff had been diagnosed or died of various forms of cancer. A series of court rulings and decisions, Seoul’s state labor welfare agency and a mediation committee followed for more than 10 years, culminating in Friday’s announcement.
Family leader Hwang Sang-gi, whose 22-year-old daughter died of leukemia in 2007, told reporters he was glad he could keep his promises. But he continued: “Honestly, the apologies were not enough for the families of the victims, but we will accept them.” No amount of apology will be enough to cure all the insults, the pain of industrial injuries and the suffering of losing the family. I can not forget the pain that she and our family suffered. Too many people have suffered the same fate. “