A 'cancer cluster' was discovered among young Samsung manufacturing workers exposed to toxic chemicals in Korea. The deaths of colleagues has motivated workers to demand that Samsung takes responsibility for for the hazards of semiconductor manufacturing and compensates the victims. So far, Samsung denies all responsibility. The Korean government has taken Samsung's side by denying compensation and arresting and detaining the victims’ lawyer. In response, the Supporters for the Health And Rights of People in the Semiconductor industry are calling for international solidarity.
The families and friends of electronics manufacturing workers at Samsung in Korea have discovered a cancer cluster among young workers exposed to toxic chemicals. The pattern of cancer deaths bears a striking resemblance to the pattern of cancer deaths among IBM “chip” workers in the US and to other electronics cancer clusters around the world.
March 6th is the third anniversary of the death of Yu-mi Hwang, a Samsung semiconductor factory worker, who died from leukemia at age 22. Her death – and similar coworker deaths - has motivated people to demand that Samsung:
- Accepts responsibility for the hazards of semiconductor manufacturing
- Compensates those harmed; and
- Prevents future suffering and mistreatment of workers by making Samsung a toxics-free model workplace where workers are treated with dignity and respect.
This call is addressed to:
- Myung-bak Lee, the President of Korean Government
- Gee-sung Choi, CEO of Samsung electronics
- Tae-hee Yim, the Minister of Labor
- Won-bae Kim, the President of COMWEL, the Korea Workers' Compensation & Welfare Service
- Min-ki Noh, CEO of KOSHA, the Korea Occupational Safety & Health Agency
The call is sponsored by: Supporters for the Health And Rights of People in the Semiconductor industry (SHARPs), Korean Metal Workers' Union (KMWU), Asian Network for the Rights Of Occupational Accident Victims (ANROAV) and International Campaign for Responsible Technology (ICRT).
Samsung denies all responsibility, and the Korean government has taken its side by denying compensation and even arresting and detaining the victims’ lawyer!
Yu-mi’s family, co-workers, friends and other concerned people have formed Supporters for the Health And Rights of People in the Semiconductor industry SHARPs to demand justice. SHARPS is now asking concerned people around the world to join their campaign for international solidarity to raise awareness about occupational disease in the electronics industry and bring accountability to Samsung (and the rest of the electronics industry).
In particular SHARPS is asking people to tell Samsung that people around the world endorse these just demands:
- The Korean government must determine that Samsung is responsible for causing the worker’s illnesses and fair compensation must be paid when workers get sick or are injured on the job
- The Korean government must protect the workers and give voice to the victims and their families who have suffered and bring accountability to Samsung
- Samsung Electronics must disclose to the workers and the public the truth about the hazards of working in the semiconductor industry
- Samsung Electronics must stop suppressing workers in their struggles for a safe and fair workplace.