Victims’ rights groups have formed a picket line at Samsung Electronics’ headquarters, claiming 98 employees of Samsung Group affiliated companies died of leukaemia and other diseases after working at the tech giant’s factories.
Back in May, Samsung Electronics vice chairman Oh-hyun Kwon issued a statement apologising to former employees who have been diagnosed with, or died from, cancer.
Despite the apology, South Korean news agency Yonhap reports the families of victims still have not received compensation from the tech giant, with little progress despite negotiations taking place every two weeks.
According to victims’ rights group SHARP, 80 of the victims came from Samsung Electronics, nine from battery producer Samsung SDI Co, and eight from Samsung Electro-Mechanics.
The majority of the employees – around 70 – worked at factories producing chips and liquid crystal displays, where they reportedly came into contact with toxic chemicals and solvents. Aside from the dead, a further 100 employees are estimated to be undergoing medical treatment.
In December 2012, a South Korean court found the company was responsible for the death of a former employee – identified as “Kim” – who worked at one of its plants between 1995 and 2000. Meanwhile in July of last year, five employees were hospitalised following suspected chemical leak at a Samsung semiconductor plant in Hwaseong.