Samsung facing public scrutiny after workers’ deaths from poor working conditions


In a public statement released today, Samsung apologized for the illnesses and deaths of several of its factory workers who have contracted diseases after working at the company’s plants in Asia.

The company’s CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun, said, “Several workers at our production facilities suffered from leukemia and other incurable diseases, which also lead to some deaths.”

About a month ago, reports began to surface that the workers in Samsung’s semiconductor plants in Asia are facing miserable working conditions, which have caused serious health threats — including leukemia.

A documentary released last month titled “Empire of Shame” reported that there were 56 cases of leukemia and other blood cancers found in Samsung employees in Asia plants — a truly unfortunate and unacceptable number.

The story began picking up steam when in 2011, an administrative court in Seoul ruled that it was highly probable that Hwang Yu-mi, a Samsung employee who felt ill after working at the Samsung plant, contracted the disease after coming in contact with chemicals in Samsung’s Suwon plant. Yu-mi passed away in 2007 from the disease.


Oh-hyun also said that the company would make appropriate compensation to those who were affected and their families, following pushback from activist groups which claimed the company’s hazardous working conditions caused the diseases to be contracted by employees.

What the release did not say, however, was how the company planned to prevent further diseases from being contracted by its employees. It’s clear that the company will have to deal with some serious PR ramifications here, especially as the mainstream media begins to pick up the story, but more serious, perhaps, are the issues with the basic human rights that the company is keeping from its workers.

Suddenly, sales numbers of Galaxy devices seem much less important.

Source: The Verge


About the Author: Harrison Kaminsky

Harrison is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh completing a major in communication and a minor in economics. Aside from writing for TalkAndroid, he is the managing editor at The Pitt News, a digital marketing intern at Buzzhoney in Pittsburgh, founder and owner of He's currently using an HTC One (M8) and Nexus 7 (2013). Harrison is excited for the next release of Android, and for whatever the future holds for the tech world. Tweet him at @Harry_Kaminsky.

  • John

    I never would have bought my galaxy note 3 had I seen this story first.