Short News from SHARPS (April 8, 2011): The Second Collective Law Suit on Workers’ compensation
April 10, 2011 by stopsamsung
The Second Collective Law Suit on Workers’ compensation
April 7, SHARPs held a press conference in the court and announced the second collective law suit against the government by four victims of occupational disease in Samsung electronics. The government agency which manages the National workers’ compensation insurance had refused to compensate them because the victims could not prove the so-called “work-relatedness” of their diseases.
The government has been demanding these victims to reveal “exactly what kind of chemicals” and “exactly how intensively” they had been exposed. But the workers had never got any education nor information about the chemicals in their workplace from the company.
Kim Chil-jun, one of two lawyers for the victims, said “it’s too unfair to shift all the responsibility of proving onto the victims”. According to his explanation, all these victims had entered the Samsung electronics before graduation of high school and must work more than 12 hours a day, being exposed to various hazardous chemicals without any information. The lawyer added, “By this law suit, we want to raise awareness of the hazard of the high-tech electronic industry as well as occupational diseases in Samsung electronics, and to make an opportunity to fix the wrong decision criteria of the workers’ compensation system.”
One of the four victims, Han Hae-kyoung, said, “the company never gave any information about the hazard to us”, and “I regret so bitterly working Samsung. No use to cry after losing health. What is the use of better pay?”. She added, “the company should not do this. They must have already known it, then they should tell us.”
The four victims who raised the law suit together are:
Han Hae-kyoung (female, age 33, brain tumor)
entered Samsung LCD plant in 1995, worked in soldering of PCB with lead, quit the company due to losing menstruation in 2001, got tumor in 2005, now has the first degree of disability in walking, talking, and vision.
Lee Yoon-jeong (female, age 31, malignant brain cancer)
entered Samsung semiconductor plant in Onyang, worked for 6 years in the job of testing the chip with very high temparature, quit the company in 2003, got the cancer in 2010 and announced to be able to live only 1 or 2 years.
You Myoung-hwa (female, age 29, aplastic anemia)
the same job in the same plant with Lee Yoon-jeong, entered the company in 2000, got the disease in 2001, has been living in her room depending on transfusion for 10 years but will not survive without bone marrow transplantation, has failed all the efforts to find out the proper donor both in and out of Korea.
Lee Hee-jin (female, age 27, multiple sclerosis)
entered Samsung LCD plant in Choenan, examined the LCD panels in high stress, got the disease in 2008, lost the vision of one eye, suffers from various dysfunction.
This law suit is not only for the compensation of 4 workers, but also for the lots of nameless victims of occupational diseases in the whole electronics industry in Korea.
Please keep your eyes on our struggles.
Supporters for Health And Rights of People in Semiconductor Industry
Related articles (In Korean language, But you can find a few photos there.)