Menu
Samsung opens semiconductor factories to inspection over workers' illness

Samsung opens semiconductor factories to inspection over workers' illness

A workers' group finds the deal insufficient

Samsung Electronics has agreed to open up its semiconductor fabs for inspection, to settle a long-standing dispute with workers and their families who blame chemicals used in the company's fabrication processes for causing illnesses including leukemia.

The South Korean company said Tuesday it and two groups called The Family Committee and the Supporters for the Health And Rights of People in the Semiconductor industry (SHARPS) had agreed to set up an independent ombudsman committee that will inspect Samsung’s facilities and suggest improvements, if any. The company promised to "faithfully" implement the proposed improvements.

Samsung described the deal as a "final settlement." The company announced in July last year a 100 billion won (US$83 million) fund, which would be used to support sick workers and their families.

More than 150 people have applied for support under the program of which 100 have accepted the financial aid, Samsung said on Tuesday. "Along with the financial aid, every recipient has received a heartfelt message of sympathy from Samsung’s CEO," the company said.

The role of Samsung's semiconductor factories in the illness of some workers came under a cloud after the death from leukemia in 2007 of a former employee.

In a factsheet updated in August last year, Samsung acknowledged that during or after their period of employment at its semiconductor fabrication plants, some employees had developed diseases that were difficult to treat. The company, however, said that no causal link had been established between the working conditions and the illness of the workers.

"While we respect the rulings of the Seoul Administrative Court, it is important to note that the Court acknowledged that there is no scientifically proven correlation between workplace environment and employee illness," it said.

On Tuesday, the company did not make a reference to the cause of the illness. In 2014, Samsung said in response to protests from workers and their families that it could have been more diligent in addressing the pains of former employees and the families of the deceased. “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,” it said.

SHARPS could not be immediately reached for comment on the agreement. The organization plans to continue protests outside Samsung's headquarters in Seoul until the company acknowledges responsibility for the workers' illnesses, according to reports.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Slideshows

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Ingram Micro completed its nationwide roadshow in Auckland last month, kicking off its Innovation Hour series with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Uncovering the latest in storage, networking and servers, the event outlined key market trends for resellers in 2016 and beyond.

IN PICTURES: Ingram Micro Innovation hits Auckland with Hewlett Packard Enterprise
IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference

IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference

FireEye welcomed 143 channel partners and distributors to FireEye's 2016 annual Partner Conference, FireEye A/NZ Momentum - held at Establishment in Sydney. Delegates heard from senior trans-Tasman channel leaders, marketing and the product divisions in the morning, with FireEye customers, incident responders and threat intelligence analysts sharing knowledge during the afternoon.

IN PICTURES: FireEye celebrates channel at 2016 Partner Conference
​IN PICTURES: Disruption in the data centre - Can the Kiwi channel capitalise?​

​IN PICTURES: Disruption in the data centre - Can the Kiwi channel capitalise?​

With New Zealand businesses now open to innovation, the industry sits on the cusp of significant disruption in the data centre. Driven by software-defined networking, the future of the data centre is fast becoming reality, as the channel seeks to keep up, keep innovating and keep growing. APC by Schneider Electric, Lenovo and key partners outlined how the channel can capitalise at The Grill restaurant in Auckland.

​IN PICTURES: Disruption in the data centre - Can the Kiwi channel capitalise?​
Show Comments