Archive for June 19th, 2017


The KCOMWEL has appeal a court order to grant workers compensation to Kim Mi-seon (in the picture), a former Samsung employee suffering from multiple sclerosis, while it recently decided to not appeal a decision in favor of workers comp claims by  another former Samsung employee who fell victim to the same condition.

South Korea’s workers compensation agency has decided against appealing a higher-court order to grant workers compensation benefits to a Samsung cluster victim, a rare move for the agency which often does not approve workers comp claims until claimants exhaust their legal recourse.

Window To Appeal

As of June 17, the KCOMWEL passed up a three-week window to appeal a May 26 higher-court ruling that reversed a lower court decision and ordered the agency to approve workers compensation for Lee So-jeong ( a pseudonym at her request).  The 33-year-old former chip-line operator of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. fell victim to multiple sclerosis in 2008, about three years after she resigned from the company where she began to work at the age of 19.

Six Years of Waiting

The KCOMWEL’s procrastination and the ensuing courtroom tit-for-tat meant that Yi had to wait for six years to receive workers compensation for the condition of which she had no family history and that is so rare that it only affects 3.5 in every 100,000 Koreans.

Samsung is an enabler of the KCOMWEL’s negligence as it routinely withholds information on chemicals used in chip production on the pretext of trade secrecy.  Regulators and courts often remain complacent even as years of procedural and legal runaround frequently ruin already-vulnerable cluster victims financially and emotionally.

Victim of Bureaucratic Runaround

The case in point:  Kim Mi-seon, is a 37-year-old former Samsung worker and a victim of multiple sclerosis.  In Feb. 2017, the KCOMWEL appealed a ruling in favor of her workers comp claims.  Her earlier legal victory could have been a landmark.  Kim was the first victim from Samsung’s LCD unit to have successfully claimed workers comp, after, in 2012-2014, the agency and the court denied three co-workers workers comp.

Now wheelchair-ridden and legally blind, Kim has also imploded financially to the point that SHARPS had to organize an urgent fund drive in April-May of 2017 to help her to pay some of overdue medical expenses.

In Nov. 2014 and Jan. 2016, the workers comp agency appealed two separate rulings in favor of two women victims assisted by SHARPS.

SHARPS’s Sit-in Continues

Since Oct. 7, 2015, SHARPS and its supporters have been staging a sit-in at Samsung D’light, the company’s so-called global exhibition space in south Seoul, calling for the world’s largest technology company to:  1) compensate all victims of occupational disease transparently and sufficiently; and 2) make a sincere and full apology.


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