Samsung apologizes for employees' illnesses likely caused due to poor work conditions

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Samsung has been facing a public backlash over the past few years for the poor working condition at its facilities, an issue that came to light in 2007 when Hwang Yumi died of leukemia allegedly after working at a Samsung factory. Her death spurred a wider campaign to pressure chip and display companies to be more responsible with the safety of their workers.

The issue led to a longstanding discord between the South Korean tech giant and a group of public health and labor activists, which also represents Samsung workers who've fallen sick due to unsafe working environments. The disagreement was settled a few weeks ago, and as part of that settlement, Samsung has today issued a public apology over the illness and deaths of employees.

Kinam Kim, president of Samsung’s device solutions division, said at a news conference in Seoul that the company offers its apology to "workers who have suffered with illnesses and their families." According to a new report by The Associated Press, the company acknowledged that it failed to provide a safe working condition for workers at its computer chip and liquid crystal display manufacturing plants.

The report noted that scores of workers acquired serious illnesses including leukemia and brain tumors after working at those facilities. However, Samsung did not entirely confirm that those illnesses were directly caused by poor working conditions.

Still as part of that settlement, the company has agreed to pay up to 150 million won ($132,000) for leukemia acquired by employees who have worked at its factories since 1984. This includes the compensation for miscarriages and congenital diseases of the workers’ children.

Source: The Associated Press

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