Samsung has officially apologised and promised to pay compensation to a number of employees who contracted leukemia and other incurable diseases after exposure to hazardous chemical at its semiconductor facilities. The statement is a vindication of several activist groups' efforts over the last seven years, which began soon after a 22 year old worker named Hwang Yu-mi succumbed to leukemia after exposure to toxic chemicals at a Samsung chip plant in Suwon, South Korea in 2007.
Samsung has vehemently denied any wrongdoing until now, and although a Seoul court decreed in 2011 that there was a high probability that Yu-mi's illness was contracted at Samsung's facilities, there wasn't any concrete evidence. Bloomberg Businessweek used the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5 to shed more light on the story and bring to attention the hazardous working conditions at Samsung's facilities.
Although Samsung is still not accepting any direct responsibility, CEO Kwon Oh-hyun released a statement in which he mentioned that the workers along with their families would be compensated.
Several workers at our production facilities suffered from leukemia and other incurable diseases, which also lead to some deaths. We've failed to pay careful attention to the pain and difficulty of them and their families. We will make appropriate compensation to those who were affected and their families. We should have settled the issue earlier, and we are deeply heartbroken that we failed to do so and express our deep apology.
Source: Yonhap News