The Associated Press criticized Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. on Dec. 11 for its attempts to pay occupational-disease victims without instituting a publicly verifiable safety measure. The news agency released the report as part of Big Story, its in-depth, investigative section.
“At issue is Samsung’s rejection of the mediator’s recommendations that an independent organization be established to oversee compensation and monitor safety and preventive measures at its factories,” the AP said, explaining why SHARPS, known as Banolim in Korea, opposes Samsung’s scheme.
SHARPS and its supporters have been staging a sit-in at Samsung’s corporate headquarters in southern Seoul since Oct. 7 when Samsung rejected the mediator’s recommendations and offered payouts to victims who would agree to confidential settlements.
“Banolim [SHARPS] has faced an onslaught of criticism in South Korea’s media that began not long after Samsung indicated it was unhappy with the mediator’s proposals,” the AP said of the Korean corporate media’s diatribe against SHARPS. “Some news articles portrayed the advocacy group as a threat to the country’s semiconductor business at a time when Chinese firms are catching up to South Korean companies. Others said the campaigners wanted the oversight body established so they could get jobs.”
“Samsung said it has never encouraged any South Korean media to publish stories attacking the advocacy group, the AP added. “The conglomerate is the country’s biggest advertiser.”
On Dec. 12, Samsung released a news statement in an attempt to counter the AP report.