Samsung Electronics on Friday apologised to workers who got cancer after working at its semiconductor factories, reported AFP. The South Korean company also promised to compensate by 2028 its workers at local chip and display factories who suffer from work-related illnesses, reported Reuters.
“We sincerely apologise to the workers who suffered from illness and their families,” said the firm’s Co-President Kim Ki-nam. “We have failed to properly manage health risks at our semiconductor and LCD factories.”
The dispute emerged in 2007, when former workers at the company’s semiconductor and display factories in Suwon and their families said some of the workers had been diagnosed with various forms of cancer and some had died. According to campaign groups, at least 320 people employed by Samsung Electronics developed work-related illnesses, of whom 118 are dead, reported Al Jazeera.
In July, Samsung Electronics and the non-governmental organisation Supporters for the Health and Rights of People in the Semiconductor Industry, which works for the victims, agreed to unconditionally accept any decision made by a mediation committee, reported Yonhap News Agency.
Earlier this month, the mediation committee asked the technology company to pay up to 150 million won (Rs 93.5 lakh) to every former and current employee suffering from work-related diseases caused by exposure to harmful chemicals.
All former and current Samsung employees and the company’s contractors who worked at its semiconductor and display production plants for more than one year since 1984 are also eligible to be compensated for work-related illnesses.
Samsung Electronics is the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturer and chipmaker. It is the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group, which has played a major role in the economic development of South Korea.