Samsung Electronics has publicly apologised to the workers who developed cancer after working at its semiconductor factories, finalizing a decade-long dispute at the world’s top chip-maker.
Campaign groups say 320 people developed work-related illnesses after being employed by Samsung Electronics, with 118 of them dying.
“We sincerely apologise to the workers who suffered from illness and their families,” said the company’s co-President, Kim Ki-nam, on Friday.
“We have failed to properly manage health risks at our semiconductor and LCD factories.”
Samsung Electronics ranks the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturer and chip-maker and the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group, and by far the biggest of the family-controlled conglomerates that dominate South Korea’s economy.
In a deal made known earlier this month, the company will compensate 150 million won ($133,000) in each case.
This agreement, applies to all who worked at Samsung Electronics plants from as far as 1984, covers 16 types of cancer, some other rare illnesses, miscarriages and congenital diseases suffered by the workers’ children.
The Samsung group has contributed in the economic development of South Korea, that is now the world’s 11th biggest economy.
Though the company has also faced allegations of dark political links and corruption.
The health scandal surfaced in 2007 when former workers at Samsung’s semiconductor and display factories in Suwon, south of Seoul, and their families disclosed that staff had been diagnosed with various types of cancer and some had died.
Numerous rulings and decisions by courts, Seoul’s state labour welfare agency and a mediation committee continued for a period of more than 10 years, concluding in Friday’s announcement.
Hwang Sang-gi, whose 22-year-old daughter died of leukaemia in 2007, Relatives’ leader told reporters he was happy he could now fulfil the promises he made to her.
Going on “The apology honestly was not enough for the families of the victims but we will accept it. No amount of apology will be enough to heal all the insults, the pain of industrial injuries, and the suffering of losing one’s family.
“I cannot forget the pain she and our family went through. Too many people have suffered the same fate.” he said