Samsung to compensate cancer sufferers

South Korean electronics firm apologises but does not admit chemicals in its factories caused disease

Tags: Samsung CorporationSouth Korea
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Samsung to compensate cancer sufferers The smartphone maker did not say how many people might be compensated. (Getty Images)
By  Helen Gaskell Published  May 14, 2014

Samsung Electronics has apologised and promised compensation to chip factory workers who suffered cancers linked to chemical exposure, the Guardian reported.

The win for the victims and families comes seven years after the death of a 23-year-old employee who died from leukemia and prompted a movement against the company.

According to online reports, Samsung said the apology does not mean it concedes a link between the chemicals used in its chip factories and cancer and other diseases.

Samsung's vice-chairman Kwon Oh-hyun said: "Several workers at our production facilities suffered from leukemia and other incurable diseases, which also led to some deaths.

"We should have settled the issue earlier, and we are deeply heartbroken that we failed to do so and express our deep apology."

At a press conference, he said Samsung hoped to "resolve the issue with sincerity and earnestness". In a statement, he added: "We will make due compensation to the victims and the families."

Kwon said that Samsung had failed to pay "careful attention to the pain and difficulty" of the victims and their families.

An independent adjudicator will be set up in order to decide how to deal with each case and Samsung will follow the compensation guidelines determined by it, Kwon said.

The Samsung statement comes a month after Sim Sang-jeung, an MP from the opposition Justice party, urged the government and Samsung to come up with measures to help victims and prevent workplace diseases.

The resolution proposed by Sim in April said 114 of 243 workers who had fallen ill since the 1990s were former Samsung semiconductor employees.

The smartphone maker did not say how many people might be compensated, but, according to the BBC, citing Agence France-Presse, about 40 employees have filed claims with the state Korean Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service in the past six years.

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