Top management of the South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics offered a formal apology to its employees suffering from cancers they acquired while working on the company’s chip and display production lines.
Samsung Electronics President and CEO Kim Ki-nam expressed his "deep regrets" to the victims on behalf of the company, and promised that it will comply with the compensation plan prepared by the mediation committee, Yonhap News Agency reports.
"Beloved colleagues and families have suffered for a long time, but Samsung Electronics failed to take care of the matter earlier. We were inconsiderate of such pains and are promptly settling the issue," Kim said.
"Today, we wish to express sincere apology to the workers who suffered from diseases, as well as their families," Kim added.
According to the news agency, the problem first came to light in 2007 when Hwang Yu-mi, a man who worked on a Samsung chip production line, died of leukemia.
Facing the growing number of complaints from workers demanding that the company apologize and provide compensation to victims of similar work-related diseases, along with improving working conditions in order to prevent similar tragedies from occurring, Samsung eventually agreed to any decision made by a mediation committee.
In November 2018, the committee ruled that Samsung should pay about $132,000 “per illness”.
While the compensation plan also reportedly covers “congenital diseases suffered by children of the victims”, it does not “acknowledge that the workplace environment is directly related to the diseases afflicting some employees,” Yonhap points out.