|A Samsung Electronics Co. semiconductor plant stands in Yongin, South Korea. (Bloomgberg)|
Samsung Electronics on Monday said it would announce its formal position on the alleged link between deaths and leukemia among its staff and working conditions at its semiconductor plants, after activist groups and a lawmaker urged the company to take action.
The bereaved families of the deceased Samsung employees, Rep. Sim Sang-jung of the minor opposition Justice Party and advocacy groups on Wednesday called for Samsung to make an official apology and compensate those affected through the mediation of a third party. Rep. Sim is collecting signatures from other lawmakers to propose a bill to relieve the victims and their families.
Kim Jun-shik, an executive vice president of Samsung Electronics, told reporters that the company was reviewing the proposals in a sincere manner and the Samsung management would make an official statement in response.
Although the company did not mention further details, it is rare for Samsung to voluntarily hold a press conference on the persistent claims that the workers at Samsung’s chip lines are exposed to dangerous substances.
According to advocacy group Banollim, 243 Samsung employees who worked at semiconductor and LCD plants have suffered from leukemia or other cancers, and 92 of them have died as of March. Only three of those cases have been recognized as work-related.