On Nov. 13 evening, SHARPS activists and supporters rallied at Samsung corporate headquarters in south Seoul to call on the company to reinitiate the arbitration process with occupational disease victims.
The chilly, wet weather did not dampen the spirits of hundreds of Samsung cluster victims and SHARPS supporters who gathered at the company’s corporate headquarters in south Seoul on Nov. 13 evening to throw a “Sam Ba” party. “Sam Ba”, a homophone of the Brazilian dance style samba, is a short version of the Korean sentence “Change Samsung” coined by SHARPS.
The “Sam Ba” party wrapped up on the evening when 75 activists wearing clean suits—typical work-wear in semiconductor labs—marched toward the Samsung headquarters, shouting “Samsung killed more than this many.” As of today, SHARPS puts the number of Samsung cluster-related deaths at 103.
About seventeen human rights and labor groups jointly sponsored “Sam Ba” in solidarity with SHARPS, which has been staging a sit-in at Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd headquarters since Oct. 8 when the company circumvented the dialogue framework and said it would pay compensation on its own terms.
Earlier, on Nov. 9, twenty-seven medical professional, labor and academic organizations issued a joint statement calling on Samsung to end the compensation scheme and reinitiate the arbitration process.
As of Nov.6, Samsung has paid onetime payouts to 55 of a total of 105 applicants who agreed to remain confidential about the amount and criteria for the compensation and not to seek any further legal action against the company, according to a press report.
SHARPS has been protesting Samsung’s payout scheme because the world’s biggest technology company has used it as a way to dodge calls for an independently verifiable worker safety measure at the company and to fragment the victims who have campaigned together for over eight years for compensation commensurate with economic hardships and incapacitated time and sustainable solutions to routine occupational hazards at Samsung.
Another Accident At Samsung
A contract worker sustained first and second degree burns in the neck and the face on Nov. 3 when 200cc of sulfuric acid leaked at Samsung’ plant in Giheung, Yongin, according to the company.
The worker was injured when he fell, accidentally loosening an acid valve and causing his protective suit to come off, the company told Yonhap News. No further details are available, but Samsung has a history of covering up industrial accidents.