In Surprise Move, Samsung Compensates Sick Employees

Article from News1:

Samsung Electronics, “We will actively resolve leukemia problems”


Samsung Electronics vice-CEO Kwon Oh-hyeon apologized and promised to compensate employees who contracted incurable diseases at workplace.

Samsung Electronics expressed the intention to actively compensate their employees who contracted leukemia. On the 14th, Kwon Oh-hyeon, vice-CEO of Samsung Electronics, held an urgent press conference and stated that Samsung will properly compensate their employees who suffered or died from diseases that are suspected to have been caused by their working conditions, and Samsung will withdraw from all related lawsuits.

Kwon said, “Some workers at our production facilities suffered from incurable diseases such as leukemia and some of them passed away. For the growth of Samsung Electronics, there had to be devotion from many employees. We are regretful and heartbroken that there were employees who had to suffer during the process of our growth.” He added, “We should have resolved the issue earlier. We are deeply sorry that we failed to do so. We express our deep apology.”

Samsung Electronics said they are willing to consider the suggestions made in a press conference on the 9th of last month, and will make proper compensations to the affected families. Kwon said, “We would like the families who participated in the suggestions to express their opinions in detail so that Banolim [The protectors of health and human rights of workers at semiconductor production facilities] and lawmaker Shim Sang-jeong can discuss this issue.” He emphasized that Samsung will implement assessments of safety and health regulations at professional and independent semiconductor production facilities and set up preventive measures. Samsung Electronics plans to withdraw from their adjunctive involvement in their diseased employees and families’ industrial accident lawsuit against the Korea Workers’ Compensation & Welfare Service.

Vice-CEO Kwon said, “Through our acceptance of the suggestions, we hope to soon properly resolve the issue with the ill employees and their families so their pain can be relieved even a little.”

Comments from Naver:

This is the best move Samsung has made so far…

olwa****: [Responding to above]

Think carefully. Wouldn’t there be a reason why Samsung is making that move? “It is still a good decision although it’s late.” Don’t make childish superficial comments like this. They are doing this to put on a facade, spending some pocket money while what they really care about is the large health care business that will be set up in Jeju Island and an enormous amount of profits that will be created by privatization of health insurance, which was permitted by the government. For big profits in the near future, they are trying to improve their image by making compensation, which has been delayed for 10 years. This is such heartless marketing. Judge carefully. You can’t even go to hospital without money these days.

ddk6****: [Responding to above]

It’s sad to say this but if Samsung really intends to avoid responsibility, there would have decided to never offer compensation. Even if you think it is out of their marketing strategy or a calculated move, it is still good that they promised to be accommodating. Nothing changes even if you look at it cynically. Let’s just keep an eye on it.


Well done. I hope they become a socially responsible corporation….

amor****: [Responding to above]

Samsung becomes a socially responsible corporation??????? It is impossible as long as their culture of entrepreneurship doesn’t change….. Take a look at those stuck-up people at Samsung….. They may look nice outwardly….but I had a lot of bad experiences with them that made me throw up inside…. If Samsung wants to be the best in the world, they should create a “humane” corporate culture first. Before then, it’s impossible…. At this rate, how can they catch up with companies like Google or Apple?


Let’s admit a good deed is a good deed. Why do you have to be cynical even for an article like this?

grac****: [Responding to above]

Get your facts straight. A good deed? Do you know how much the diseased employees and their families had to suffer? Now that Samsung pretends to care, we should not be cynical because they are doing the right thing? If one of your families was a victim and suffered from a large corporation’s tyranny so far, would you be able to say that? Don’t talk so easily just because it is not your own matter.


Is there no problem like this with other semiconductor manufacturers? Are working conditions the worst at Samsung? To be fair, shouldn’t they also investigate other companies? Do they only target Samsung just for being No. 1? Why do they not say a single thing about other companies? Workers at other companies are not even humans?

iddp****: [Responding to above]

That totally shows how you know jack shit about this problem. Pathetic. What? To be fair? Just go check the number of victims first. Even if you combine the numbers of victims at other semiconductor companies, it is less than half of the victims at Samsung. Even among those companies, Samsung has been the most stubborn to not acknowledge that the diseases were caused by their working conditions.


Resolve the issue!!!!


The true courage is to admit their fault. This will completely change the image of Samsung. Well done.


Why do humans pay attention to others’ pain when they are about to die?


They might have been influenced by CEO Lee Kun-hee’s recent hospitalization.


It’s a bit late but it’s good to see them try to take responsibility as an international corporation.


It’s fortunate that they acknowledged their fault.

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  • When will I get compensated…for having to endure years of crappy K-Pop?

    • ChuckRamone

      When will the world get compensated for having Miley Cyrus and One Direction shoved down its throat?

  • Chucky3176


    It’s fortunate that they acknowledged their fault.”

    No they didn’t. All Samsung said was they will compensate their sick employees, irregardless whether they got cancer due to assembly factory or due to natural causes. They admit to nothing. It’s just that they won’t argue this point anymore in court. Call it an out-of-court settlement.

  • Mighty曹

    Surprise move? It’s not like they (Samsung) can’t afford it.

    • darrenjh

      I must admit it’s better than nothing. Look up James hardie in Australia. The board is living it up in Beverly Hills while people have died. Western counties don’t have the moral high ground on this one.

  • commander

    Welcome the Samsung’s belated move in the right direction.

    The true entrepreneurship is to stand behind employees’ welfare in pursuit of legitimate profit selling better products as a result of innovation that will serve as a growth engine for an entire country.

    Samsung’s decision to apologize and make atonement should lead to a transformation changing the giant firm into socially responsible and respectable one and should not wind up an one-time event of shallow image making or window dressing.

    • Chucky3176

      I have a cousin who works for Samsung. Their benefits are outstanding, beyond anything I’ve ever seen. The only problem is they work you to death until you burn out.

      • commander

        The reason why some firms pay higher-than-average wage to their workers, economic theories explain, is to prevent employees from getting lazy and not working hard because the dismissal from jobs means they can get a job offering that high pay to them.

        Employees at Samsung firms complain that they are always exhausted by overwhelming workloads and that they even don’t have the time to spend earnings.

        But there is the need to remember there is no free launch in the world.

        Samsung employees, though swamped by work, are gainfully employed and enjoys envious looks from the public for their being hired by one of the most best firms in the country indicating they are capable and competent.

        • bigmamat

          It just indicates to me that Samsung needs to hire more people, even if they do have to reduce overall wages. A tired overworked workforce is a sickly, not on the top of their game workforce. Unless of course they have a history of employing people until they destroy their health then dumping them when they can’t perform anymore. This whole being thankful for just having a job shit is pretty medieval. But it seems to be standard practice in this new economic climate we’ve made for ourselves.

          • Chucky3176

            Once you hire them full time, you can’t fire them when lean times come. Korea’s inflexible labor laws ensures underemployment for full time workers. It’s much cheaper to hire a few full timers and give them top dollars and unmatchable benefits (so that they don’t ever want to leave), and then work them to the max. For those who get burned out and quit, it’s not too bad for them either. The severance packages are extremely generous. So it’s win win for everybody. It’s one reason why Samsung has been able to avoid unionization, like Hyundai auto (who have suffered strikes every year for 35 years).

          • Chucky3176

            correction: “unlike Hyundai auto who have suffered strikes every year for 35 years)”

          • Bryan Cheron

            What new economic model? If anything, Samsung employees used to work even harder. It wasn’t that long ago that Korea had a six day workweek, after all.

          • bigmamat

            Really. Ok.

  • bang2tang

    and modern human depends on semiconductor so much…

  • Peter Old

    I’ve got two feelings about this.

    I really hate it when organisations try to hide their skeletons for as long as possible and then become deeply apologetic when public resentment has built up. I’m cynical that this is about publicity and the decision was made on financial reasoning.

    But at the same time, it’s a step in the right direction for worker’s safety and compensation. Being at the top, Samsung can be seen as a role model and establish a safe working culture which permeates to the wider society.

  • Oh-hyeon-ah. Have you heard about a Japanese tradition called “hara kiri?”

    • cqn0

      There’s no such principle of honor in Korea. It’s not like Japan.

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