Samsung has issued an apology to factory workers that may have contracted cancers linked to chemical exposure while on the job. The company also promised to compensate workers and their families affected by the longstanding incident.
In a statement on the matter, Samsung vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun noted that several workers at their production facilities suffered from leukemia and other incurable diseases which also led to some deaths. The chairman went on to say they regret that a solution for the matter had not been found in a timely manner and would like to use the opportunity to express their sincerest apology to the affected people.
The story first came to light in 2007 when 23-year-old Hwang Yu-mi died from leukemia in 2007, one of several that fell ill while working at a Samsung production facility. Her story was told as part of a Businessweek story published last month around the same time the Galaxy S5 launched.
How widespread is the issue, you ask? According to lawmaker Sim Sang-jeung, no less than 114 of the 243 workers sickened since the 1990s were Samsung semiconductor employees.
It’s worth pointing out that Samsung’s apology and compensation does not concede a link between the illnesses and chemicals used at their manufacturing plants. But by issuing the apology, Samsung said they will no longer participate in lawsuits surrounding the incident.
Either way, it’s seen as a victory for those affected by the illnesses, their families and civil groups that have struggled to raise awareness about the situation.