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Samsung agrees to compensate ill employees at plants

By Wooyoung Lee
Samsung agrees to compensate ill employees at plants
A visitor looks at Samsung Electronics Co.'s semiconductor products at the 2019 Smart Biz Expo in Seoul on Oct. 24, 2018. Photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Samsung Electronics has agreed to compensate former and current employees at its semiconductor and display plants with work-related diseases, putting an end to more than a decade-long dispute between the company and ill workers.

The company said Thursday that it will accept a compensation proposal, which includes a list of work-related diseases and corresponding amount for compensation, according to Joongang Ilbo.

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The plan was drawn up by a mediation group, which started in 2007 when a 23-year-old employee at a memory chip plant died of acute leukemia in the same year. Employees and family members formed the group to demand compensation and apology from the company.

"We came to the agreement after many years. It's great to see the mediation plan. But there's a long way to go to solve fundamental problems," said Kim Ji-hyung, committee leader. "I hope this will contribute to enhancing workers' rights for health," he added.

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Samsung Electronics agreed to compensate ill workers who have worked more than a year at its semiconductor and liquid-crystal display factories since May 17, 1984. It will pay up to $133,000 for leukemia, $120,000 for brain tumor and multiple myeloma, $2,700 for stillbirth and $890 for miscarriage.

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"We appreciate the effort by the mediation committee. We will make sure to follow the compensation proposal as soon as possible," Samsung Electronics said, according to Kyunghyang Shinmun.

According to the mediation group, 260 employees have reported work-related illnesses and of them, 90 people died.

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Samsung Electronics had denied a link between work environment and illnesses and deaths of workers until a Seoul court concluded in 2011 that the 23-year-old worker's death was work-related.

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