Samsung and victims reach agreement, dispute ends

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Samsung and victims reach agreement, dispute ends

An 11-year, high-profile dispute between Samsung Electronics and former workers who suffered work-related illnesses came to an end Thursday.

An independent arbitration panel announced that Samsung has agreed to pay compensation to all former workers, or to their surviving family members, who became sick after working at least one year at the LCD or semiconductor production facilities at Samsung’s Giheung plant.

For those who suffer from or died of leukemia, up to 150 million won ($131,799) will be paid. Those who experienced a still birth will receive 3 million won per case, while those who experienced a miscarriage were awarded 1 million won.

“We have decided to expand the parameters for compensation as much as possible, even though we had to lower the compensation for each individual,” the arbitration body said in a statement.

In July, Samsung and the plaintiffs signed an agreement to “unconditionally” accept any conclusion reached as a result of arbitration by a committee led by former Supreme Court Justice Kim Ji-hyung, also managing partner of the Jipyong law firm. The two parties will finalize the agreement and hold a ceremony by the end of this month.

“We still have a long way to go to see the problem solved fundamentally,” said Kim. “We hope that society will get closer to guaranteeing the health rights of laborers step by step.”

“We will stand by our promise to unconditionally accept any arbitration measures,” said Samsung. “We will come up with a detailed action plan as soon as possible.”

Signing the documents indicates that the workers and their families and Samsung are committed to accepting a decision on the rules and procedures for providing compensation for diseases and measures to compensate the victims. Samsung will accept guidance on how to make an apology, promise to prevent future incidents and hold charitable activities.

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