So. Korea: NGOs, families of workers allege links between work at Samsung semiconductor factories and cancer

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Article
28 November 2018

S. Korea: Samsung apologises for sicknesses & deaths of some workers, after 11 year dispute

Author: CNBC

"Samsung apologizes over sicknesses, deaths of some workers", 23 November, 2018

Samsung Electronics apologized... for illnesses and deaths of some of its workers, saying it failed to create a safe working environment at its computer chip and display factories.

The announcement by the South Korean technology giant came weeks after the company and a group representing ailing Samsung workers agreed to accept compensation terms suggested by a mediator and end a highly-publicized standoff that went on for more than a decade. The company's apology was part of the settlement.

Kinam Kim, president of Samsung's device solutions division, said the company failed to "sufficiently manage health threats" at its semiconductor and liquid crystal display manufacturing lines. As detailed in Associated Press reporting over the past decade, dozens of employees who worked there have experienced grave illnesses such as leukemia and brain tumors.

But while cutting a deal and loosely admitting to lapses in safety standards, Samsung has yet to fully acknowledge its workplace environment as the direct cause of the illnesses.

"No apology would be enough when considering the deception and humiliation we experienced (from Samsung) over the past 11 years, the pain of suffering from occupational diseases, the pain of losing loved ones," Hwang [father of a victim] said at [a] news conference. 

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Article
14 November 2018

SAMSUNG takes responsibility and agrees to compensate workers of its South Korean factories who have serious work-related illnesses

Author: Sherpa

As a judicial investigation was launched in France, Samsung has recognized exposing its workers to toxic chemicals without adequately protecting and informing them about the toxicity of products handled in its Korean factories.  This news could influence the future judicial investigation.  An investigating judge was nominated following the complaint filed on June 25, 2018, for misleading commercial practices by Sherpa and ActionAid Peuples-Solidaires against Samsung Electronics France, and its South Korean parent company, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.​​​​  Civil parties were heard in the course of the investigation on October 16...The mediation panel set up to propose a compensation for ill workers and the legal successors of deceased workers gave out its decision on November, 1...

Samsung was asked to pay up to 150 million won (116 324 euros) for each employee suffering from work-related diseases, the mediation committee led by a former supreme justice said in a statement.  All former and current Samsung employees as well as the company’s contractors who worked at Samsung’s semiconductor and display production plants for more than one year since 1984 are eligible to be compensated for their illnesses. The majority of eligible employees are women below 30 years old. At least 200 workers are concerned...

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Article
5 November 2018

So. Korea: Arbitration decision demands Samsung to compensate victims who suffered occupational illnesses from 1984 onward

Author: International Campaign for Health and Labour Rights of Samsung Electronics Workers

2 November 2018

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. should compensate workers falling ill at its LCD and chip plants from 1984 onward, the Mediation Committee said...in its final arbitration decision.  

...The committee appears to have aim to adjust the ceiling of individual payouts to make sure that as many workers as possible for as wide a variety of diseases...by including such pulmonary conditions as lung cancer.

...[K]ey takeaways from the decision:

  • Samsung will compensate former and current workers...who developed a variety of blood disorders, cancers, and pulmonary conditions.
  • The ceiling for individual compensation is set at KRW150 million won (U$132,667 at U$1: KRW 1,130).
  • Samsung will pay up to KRW 5 million ($4,400) for a genetic disorder occupationally caused to the victim.
  • Samsung will pay KRW 3 million and KRW 1 million for stillbirths and miscarriages.
  • The compensation ceiling and coverage period may be subject to renewal after the first 10 years.
  • The 53 SHARPS-profiled workers have to the right to choose between the arbitrated compensation program or Samsung’s own scheme of 2015 for better payout.
  • An independent commission should be formed to manage the new compensation program.
  • A Samsung representative director should publicly read the company’s formal apology in the presence of victims and their families.
  • Samsung should create KRW 50 billion (U$ 44.4 million) in funds aimed at the improvement of workers safety and health in the electronics industry.

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Article
3 March 2010

Are Samsung workers dying from cancer in Korea?

Author: Stephen Frost, CSR Asia

Sanggi Hwang’s search for the truth about his daughter’s death has convinced him that it was her job at a Samsung semiconductor factory that led to her untimely death. His fight for justice…enlisted the support of a new-formed coalition of NGOs calling on Samsung to accept responsibly…Hwang found other cases where workers in the plant had died of leukaemia and similar diseases…There are claims that a similar patterns exists in the Onyang Factory, also run by Samsung…Samsung is standing firm and calling the occupational diseases ‘just coincidence’. They deny there is a link between cancer and the workplace. There are also accusations that the company has used threats to warn off employees from taking legal action or highlighting issues publicly...[also refers to IBM]

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Article
3 March 2010

Campaign highlights Samsung workers' cancer deaths [So. Korea]

Author: Peter Clarke, EE Times

[So. Korea]…lobbying groups in Asia have come together to launch the "Samsung Accountability Campaign…” The campaign is demanding that Samsung take responsibility for the hazards of chip manufacturing and compensates workers…The campaign has been timed to coincide with the third anniversary of the death of Yu-mi Hwang, a Samsung semiconductor factory worker…No scientific case…is made either to prove or disprove a link between worker ill-health at Samsung and the chemicals in use there. Chemicals used in…electronics factories have been blamed for worker ill-health in the past, with lawsuits brought against IBM in 2003. Concerns were also raised about cancer clusters at a National Semiconductor wafer fab in…Scotland. In…1986, the Boccardo law firm in…California, won an undisclosed settlement in a suit that had alleged Fairchild Semiconductor had polluted soil and, potentially, groundwater…

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Article
22 February 2010

[video] Workers in Samsung [So.Korea]

Author: Sharps Labor News Production

[March 2007. Yu Mi, a young female worker died of acute leukaemia…Yu-mi…worked in Samsung semiconductor factory at Gi-Hueng…Her father…found out many other workers died of similar disease…In an engineering team which consists of 4 male workers, three got Leukemia, Malignant Melanoma, and Wegners Granulamatosis…Samsung..has the highest number of workers dying of rare diseases…Samsungs standpoint on workers diseases is extremely obstinate…Samsung: “Radiation and Arsine Gas are managed safely. Claim for workers compensation for luekemia patients?…Those are personal problems”…Gyong Ho Lee, Association for victims of occupational injuries: “Samsung, Government and the Workers Compensation agency all deny the work relatedness, hide important data and block workers participation”]

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