At the occasion of the Korea Electronics Grand Fair 2010 which was opened today by Samsung, labour rights groups are calling for the commemoration of the workers who  are suffering or died from occupational disease at Samsung Electronics. Supporters for the Health And Rights of People in the Semiconductor industry SHARPS  is criticising Samsung for joining the festival.

Stop the festival!
Stop the severe reality of workers in world electronic industry!
Stop the vicious cycle of tragedy in electronic industry!

SHARPS writes that most of the workers who died from occupational diseases are young workers between their 20s and 30s, who worked on the 1st~ 5th production lines, or manual operational lines at the Samsung Electronics Gi-heung plant.

Looking at the entire Samsung electronics, SHARPS speaks of 100 workers who got cancer. If not only cancer is considered but other diseases as well, then the number of victims is much higher, according to SHARPS. Workers suffer from menstrual irregularities, spontaneous abortions, skin diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and so on.

Samsung, however, does not take responsibility for the fate of these workers, nor does the Korean government. Former Samsung workers who are affected by diseases heir works are yet to get an apology from the company. On the contrary, Samsung has made an effort to keep keep facts from the public. The company has been trying to bribe victims with money.

The Samsung case is not unique. It is not hard to find the stories like this other place in the world. SHARPS refers to occupational health victims among IBM-workers in the USA, as well as to occupational disease and environmental damages in the electronics sector in the UK, Thailand, and Taiwan.

SHARPS has formulated clear demands:

  • Samsung should make immediate apology to about 100 victims who are suffering occupational diseases.
  • Samsung should reveal all ingredients of harmful chemical substances and toxic information that have been used.
  • Samsung should immediately stop the use of harmful chemical substances that have caused workers to fall ill and die.
  • The South Korean government should compensate the victims and hold Samsung to accountable.

In its press statement, SHARPS is including a list of victims who lost their life working with Samsung Electronics up to now.

Full press release on the top right (PDF).