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Those Affected by Disease in Samsung’s Workplace Headed to Mediation

Wednesday, November, 28, 2018

The timeline to resolve the dispute between Samsung Electronics, Co. and its former employees have fallen behind, despite attempts at mediation. The dispute concerns workers who developed work-related illnesses. At the moment, the mediation committee is contemplating details on compensation.


A preliminary agreement was reached through mediation in July when Samsung and the Supporters for the Health and Rights of People in the Semiconductor Industry (SHARPS), an advocacy group representing victims met after nearly 10 years of dispute. Those sessions were supposed to result in an independent committee meeting and being led by former Justice Kim Ji-hyung in early October. However, the committee notified both parties involved that it needed more time to “come up with more reasonable and objective results.”


The dispute began after a former Samsung employee died of leukemia in 2007. The advocacy group claimed there were 320 victims who had developed work-related illnesses after their time at Samsung and that more than 100 of them had already died. Victims claim the company should compensate them and offer a public apology, while also developing a plan to prevent further outbreaks of illness.


Both sides claim they are willing to accept the final result of the mediation and the ruling by the committee, but no compensation amount has been determined yet. The committee was called on to participate in talks following little progress in discussions between Samsung and victims that have been ongoing since 2013. Mediation began in mid-2015, but made little progress until recently. In late 2015, Samsung set up a compensation fund independent of the advocacy group, but SHARPS refused to accept the money.