Samsung: Sorry about that cancer

“Samsung Electronics Co. apologized and promised compensation to chip factory workers who suffered cancers linked to chemical exposure, a rare win for families and activists seven years after the death of a 23-year-old employee [Hwang Yu-mi] from leukemia galvanized a movement to hold the company to account,” Youkyung Lee reports for The Assoicated Press.

“Samsung said the apology does not mean it concedes a link between the chemicals used in its chip factories and cancer and other diseases. Still, the company’s statement Wednesday that it should have sought a solution sooner is an abrupt shift in Samsung’s stance and a form of vindication for workers and their families,” Lee reports. “Samsung vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun said the company, the world’s largest maker of smartphones and memory chips, will compensate workers and their families. ‘We feel regret that a solution for this delicate matter has not been found in a timely manner, and we would like to use this opportunity to express our sincerest apology to the affected people,’ Kwon, who oversees Samsung’s semiconductor and display panel businesses, said in an emailed statement. Local news channels showed Kwon reading the statement before reporters.”

“The Samsung statement comes a month after opposition party lawmaker Sim Sang-jeung urged the government and Samsung to come up with measures to help victims and prevent workplace diseases,” Lee reports. “The resolution proposed by Sim in April said 114 of 243 workers sickened since the 1990s were former Samsung semiconductor employees”

“For the past few years, Samsung has resisted calls to apologize. The company also provided assistance to a government compensation agency in legal battles over the agency’s refusal to pay compensation to workers. In South Korea, companies pay levies that the government uses to fund compensation for workplace accidents and illnesses,” Lee reports. “Courts have ruled in favor of compensation in three of about a dozen cases. The government agency, Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service, appealed. Kwon said Samsung will no longer be involved in the lawsuits.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “dslarsen” for the heads up.]

22 Comments

    1. Not unique to Samsung. Look at the denials of responsibility in the energy extraction and power production industries in the US. Typically goes “Even though you are knee deep in toxic sludge from our operations, you can’t prove a causal link between our sludge and your cancer. How sad for you. And by the way, the heavy hand of Government regulation is just too much to bear, so just trust us to keep on eye on things and we’ll be sure to let you know when there’s a problem. Was that the shift start whistle? Off to the mines with you now.”

      1. As someone who has worked in the energy extraction industries, I must say that cancer in this industry is about one third of the cancer in the population as a whole.

        The fallout from the above ground nuclear testing in America and Japan by the Americans has been the biggest source of cancer in North America.

        1. I don’t see how that makes any sense. If it’s a statistically significant number of people, they should have the SAME average cancer rate as the rest of the country. How can it possibly be one-third.

      2. sure there are other companies that are disgusting (oil, pharmaceutical, etc)…. STILL… SAMSUNG is a disgusting company…

        oops… TERRIBLY DISGUSTING…. HTML420 got that right…

  1. Of course they are the main producer of Apple’s products. Surely it is not just the Samsung production lines that cause cancer. Get real, most manufacturing processes are dangerous.

    1. Though Apple is a major customer and significant percentage of Samsung’s business, they are certainly not the “main producer of Apple’s products. Most any manufacturing activity is risky in some way or another – it’s how you mitigate that risk that makes or breaks you. Samsung appears to be at fault here, your implication that Apple is in any way responsible is disingenuous at best.

      dmz

  2. “should have sought a solution sooner”
    That’s truly vomit worthy. They haven’t just been slow to seek a solution. They’ve been actively fighting these people for many years. A bit different.

  3. What a great victory for Samsung, they will be able to unload a ton of their droidal phones onto ex-employees which will increase their market share and send their stock soaring. Ingenious, they are not only copying Apple but other great American companies like Monsanto and Dow Chemical makers of non other than Agent Orange. Of course there is a whole list of others, and growing everyday. While no one pollutes the globe like the Americans the Asians sure are coming on strong.

    Next up…Gaia’s revenge, will flooding wipe out the analysts?

  4. Ok, you know what? Samsung can eat shit and die. They really, honestly don’t get that lying, cheating and stealing is wrong, even if it’s legal. I am so sick of their stuff.

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