SAMSUNG Electronics has apologised to its chip factory workers who got cancers linked to chemical exposure, promising compensation.
In 2007, Hwang Yu-mi, a 23 year old employee, died of leukemia. This was the beginning of a movement by families and activists to raise awareness and get Samsung Electronics to take responsibility for safety issues at its chip factories.
Samsung said its apology does not mean it concedes a link between the chemicals used in its chip factories and cancer and other diseases.
However, its position has shifted from its earlier non-compromising stance of denial, where it refused to apologised and also funded legal battles by the Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service to refuse compensation to workers. Samsung says it will now compensate affected workers and their families, and stop being involved in the lawsuits.
According to South Korean politicians, 114 of 243 workers who fell victim to workplace diseases since the 1990s were former Samsung semiconductor employees.