Samsung issues apology to cancer-stricken semiconductor plant workers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2014
South Korean electronics giant Samsung on Wednesday issued a formal apology to workers who fell ill from cancer after exposure to toxic chemicals at the company's semiconductor plants, saying that it should have acted more swiftly and would compensate the victims.

Another Promise still
A still from Another Promise


"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," Samsung vice chairman and CEO Kwon Oh-hyun wrote in a statement provided to the Associated Press. In addition to his role as CEO, Kwon is directly responsible for Samsung's memory, system LSI, and LED units.

Samsung had been fighting against cancer claims from former workers for years, and the issue has blossomed into a major scandal in South Korea. Samsung is a key cog in the country's economy, with revenue equal to nearly 20 percent of South Korea's annual gross domestic product.

Earlier this year, Samsung was accused of strong-arming the Korean-language newspaper NewBizDaily to suppress coverage of the film "Another Promise," which is a fictionalized depiction of the ongoing battle between Samsung and the father of 23-year-old Hwang Yu-mi. Hwang contracted leukemia while working at a Samsung factory in Suwon and later succumbed to the disease.

"To fix the trust issue between Samsung Group and NewDaily, I plan to do my best," wrote Park Jung-kyu, president of the the NewBizDaily, in a misdirected text message. "I spoke with Park Jong-moon, who told me that Samsung was upset about the Another Promise article we published last month."

"After looking into the details, I have directly ordered to take the post down," Park added. Samsung vehemently denied ordering the story's removal, saying at the time that "the allegation concerning the article in question is clearly groundless."

According to the AP, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee -- whose father founded the conglomerate in 1938 -- wants to resolve the cancer dispute before handing the company's reins to his son.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    "Samsung issues apology to cancer-stricken semiconductor plant workers" and will give each stricken worker a refirbished Galaxy Gear watch...

    "According to the AP, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee -- whose father founded the conglomerate in 1938 -- wants to resolve the cancer dispute before handing the company's reins to his son." He is planning on the workers dying and that will resolve everything according to his criminal mind...
  • Reply 2 of 63
    revenantrevenant Posts: 620member
    Its popularity has been shaken. Many people here in Seoul are not happy at all about this. Well- this and other shady things like their slush fund
  • Reply 3 of 63
    g4dualieg4dualie Posts: 21member
    Samsung causes cancer and should come with a warning label.
  • Reply 4 of 63
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Samsung press release: Oops! Sowwy!
  • Reply 5 of 63
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    "Samsung issues apology to cancer-stricken semiconductor plant workers" and will give each stricken worker a refirbished Galaxy Gear watch...

    "According to the AP, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee -- whose father founded the conglomerate in 1938 -- wants to resolve the cancer dispute before handing the company's reins to his son." He is planning on the workers dying and that will resolve everything according to his criminal mind...

    The employees will all be buried alive with their founder in a pyramid.
  • Reply 6 of 63
    glop007glop007 Posts: 2member
    I can hardly wait for New York Times' pulitzer award-winning investigative series on Samescum. (sarcasm).
  • Reply 7 of 63
    ryannejryannej Posts: 15member
    I think they need a little more than just a "sorry" at this point. How about trying to improve the conditions for people that work there? Make actual changes, not just say "oops we screwed up"
  • Reply 8 of 63
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    As if anyone needed another reason to dislike Samsung.

    Sorry, but if you support and purchase from Samsung, you're just as bad.

    Hopeful that this is the year the chip-dependence from Samsung is over for Apple. That's all that's left.
  • Reply 9 of 63

    begin sarcasm - But wait... I thought only Apple's supply chain abused it's workers.  I guess Scamsung really does copy Apple in all things.  - end sarcasm.

     

    This kind of thing needs to stop.  While I am happy that Scamsung is starting to be called on it's history of worker safety abuse, this kind of thing is too prevalent in the industry as a whole and it needs to be addressed.

  • Reply 10 of 63
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,005member

    oh wait this will somehow play badly on Apple, why someone will discover these employee were in fact making parts which ended up in Apple products.

     

    I wonder is Apple Corporate Responsibility Group has audit Samsung like they have been doing to Foxconn and other Chinese manufacturers.

  • Reply 11 of 63

    1) If this was Apple it would be the lead story on CNN.com and other websites.

    2) It's disturbing to me how some here are making fun or making this into a joke or inserting bigotry, these are people's lives - it's not a comedy skit.

  • Reply 12 of 63
    patsupatsu Posts: 430member
    Samsung have been shifting to countries with even lower production cost. e.g., from China to Vietnam.


     


    They started aggressively last year, but will likely accelerate the move this year:




     


    It's a challenge when the focus is purely corporate numbers- and cost-based:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/workers-riot-at-samsung-factory-in-vietnam-2014-1

     

    Unlike Apple, Samsung own and run the factories themselves. Somewhere on the net, there is an advocacy site on improving Samsung factory condition in China. I found it when the advocacy groups complained about Foxconn and Apple. They mentioned that many workers in Samsung's Chinese factories are not full time. They are just temps, and hence do not enjoy any standard company benefits, or full labor law protection. Unreasonable hours, child labor have also been found but no action was taken. 

     

    When Samsung move to Vietnam, they can also avoid the troublesome Korean and Chinese grassroots advocacy groups.

  • Reply 13 of 63
    I read on other sites that initially Samsung blamed the victims for allegedly making false accusations.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,466member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Samsung press release: Oops! Sowwy!

     

    Somehow, someway, this will be spun as Apple’s fault. It will probably come out that the employees effected were producing parts for Apple hardware. Wait for NYT headline.

  • Reply 15 of 63
    WHAT!

    Samsung did something wrong and then denied it and then dragged it out in the courts to their financial advantage .... they would never do that!

    ... mean while, back in the real world.

    "According to the AP, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee -- whose father founded the conglomerate in 1938 -- wants to resolve the cancer dispute before handing the company's reins to his son"

    What most people fail to realise is that this company is run by a "family" ... They will be now making the victims "an offer they can't refuse".

    If you think of Samsung in this way ... everything they do makes sense.
  • Reply 16 of 63
    almondrocaalmondroca Posts: 179member

    In the wake of the Korean ferry disaster, I wonder if victims of corporate/government negligence will have more of a voice. Man-made disasters have a way of changing a nation's culture. 

  • Reply 17 of 63
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,395moderator

    "According to the AP, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee -- whose father founded the conglomerate in 1938 -- wants to resolve the cancer dispute before handing the company's reins to his son."

     

    Yes, the outgoing patriarch will take all the blame on his way out the door to live out his years in quiet splender in order to clear the slate for his son, who will repeat the whole process, delaying and denying his own era's wrongdoings until he too takes the blame on his way into retirement.  This is how the Chaebol works.

  • Reply 18 of 63
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    "According to the AP, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee -- whose father founded the conglomerate in 1938 -- wants to resolve the cancer dispute before handing the company's reins to his son."

    Yes, the outgoing patriarch will take all the blame on his way out the door to live out his years in quiet slender in order to clear the slate for his son, who will repeat the whole process, delaying and denying his own era's wrongdoings until he too takes the blame on his way into retirement.  This is how the Chaebol works.

    I'm not sure about the ... 'quiet slender' though ... :D
  • Reply 19 of 63
    Quote:

    revenue equal to nearly 20 percent of South Korea's annual gross domestic product


    If ever there was a line to draw which defined "Too Big to Fail" I think Samsung crossed it long ago.

     

    No country should let a single company become such a large fraction of their economy.  They should have been broken into smaller companies when crossing the line.

  • Reply 20 of 63
    almondrocaalmondroca Posts: 179member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post

     

    If ever there was a line to draw which defined "Too Big to Fail" I think Samsung crossed it long ago.

     

    No country should let a single company become such a large fraction of their economy.  They should have been broken into smaller companies when crossing the line.


     

    Yeah, this situation is worse than Ma Bell. It'll take some major scandals to break it up since the government, press, and the nation's people all have a stake in Samsung.

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