Clean-IT demands social accountability for victims of cancer (among other occupational diseases) at Samsung

98 dead and more than 130 severely diseased: The Clean-IT campaign, Südwind and other NGOs publish these dolorous statistics on the occasion of the World Cancer Day on February 4th and demand that Samsung take social accountability for those affected.

Clean-IT demands social accountability for victims of cancer (among other occupational diseases) at Samsung

98 dead and more than 130 severely diseased: The Clean-IT campaign, Südwind and other NGOs publish these dolorous statistics on the occasion of the World Cancer Day on February 4th and demand that Samsung take social accountability for those affected. Samsung is offering financial compensation to a small minority of those affected in home country South Korea, however, it still denies any relationship between the diseases and the health and safety conditions in the workplace.

 Studies such as the "Winds of Change" report of Electronics Watch prove that 232 workers from Samsung factories fell seriously ill in the past seven years, mostly from various forms of cancer. 98 of them have died since. As part of a mediation process, after years of court proceedings, Samsung is now offering financial compensation to a small minority of those affected in the home country South Korea. However, despite contrary court decisions, Samsung still denies any relationship between the diseases and the health and safety conditions in the workplace. The narrow criteria that Samsung has imposed on compensation payments would exclude a vast majority of those affected. [More than 90%, actually]. Samsung calls the offer a 'gift' or an act of 'humanitarian aid' and still rejects to open its factories for investigations on health and safety conditions and chemicals used.

The NGOs demand that Samsung has its factories checked by independent institutions, to guarantee the right to know and the right to participate of the workers and civil society, and that Samsung will perform preventive measures to avoid further deaths and illnesses. In addition, victims with other serious diseases such as multiple sclerosis or sequelae such as infertility as well as subcontractor workers from Samsung facilities must be considered in the compensation. Samsung eventually needs to express their sincere apologies for the victims as well as to eventually acknowledge the court decisions on these occupational diseases.

In Austria, Samsung published an App for smartphones in 2014 to support cancer research (amongst others), with "the main strategic goal to position Samsung as a responsible company and significantly improve its brand attributes in the categories CSR and Corporate Citizenship in Austria" according to Samsung's nomination for the Eurobest 2014 Creativity awards. An obvious PR gag! The App as such might great. However, we again expect Samsung to finally ensure fair working conditions throughout the production chain rather than to be brilliant in PR Gags.

 

Please vote for Samsung in the “Schandfleck” competition before 18 February, 2015: www.schandfleck.or.at

Read this background article in The Hankyoreh: (e.g. Jan 27, English)