Apple has its own problems keeping up with labor conditions. It’s been also been a longstanding issue for Samsung Electronics since 2007, when Hwang Yu-mi, an employee at one of the company’s chipmaking facilities, died of work-related leukemia. SHARP, a Korean workers’ advocacy group, claims that there are more than 200 sickened employees and 71 deaths up to the end of September.
Now comes word of an agreement between Samsung and representatives of the victims and their families in which the company will introduce preventative and managerial structures to support workplace health.
The archstone of the forward action has been placed with an independent ombudsman committee focused on investigating health impacts of the working environment and is authorized to do check-ups on employees and disclose information on hazardous chemicals the company uses in its chip- and display-crafting. The committee will issue a report on its findings which Samsung can oppose. The committee will work for the next three years and can optioned for three more.
Samsung is also obligated to operate a employee health care center, continue ongoing research into work-related illnesses and set up an arbitration committee.
Parties of the victims and Samsung have yet to meet eye to eye on final compensation, disclosure of responsibility and apologies. Engadget reports that Samsung will not take blame for the illnesses as radiation and chemical measurements were below legal limits, even though they were above normal.
Samsung first acknowledged the issue to victims and their families back in May 2014 and promised to compensate those affected. The company then announced in August 2015 that it would place almost $86 million into research of work-related diseases. At the end of 2015, the chaebol had paid out to 100 parties.
Workplace safety has long been an issue at Samsung Electronics and its associated companies. SHARP claims it covers up jobsite accidents to keep high regulatory marks which exempt the company from government inspections.