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Archive for June 26th, 2017

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Stories from the Cleanroom, a new documentary on Samsung’s occupational-disease, cluster on June 20 premiered at S. Korea’s National Assembly.  The film centers on about 20  victims and their families.

A new documentary on the agonies of victims of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s blood-disorder cluster has chosen an unusual venue for its premiere:  South Korea’s National Assembly hall.

On June 20, 2017 the new film, Stories from the Cleanroom, had its premiere, hosted by the euljiro committee, a caucus of young legislators of the ruling Minjoo Party that focuses on labor and small-business issues.

Stories from the Cleanroom, produced jointly by SHARPS and the anti-toxic waste global network IPEN, features twenty separate interviews with infirm victims and their next-of-kin as well as families of the deceased ones.

An excerpt of the film is available here.

Intense Film

For Samsung’s cluster victims, the word “cleanroom” is something of a misnomer because such rooms were designed to keep clean the electronic components they assembled while the workers are exposed to toxic chemicals.  The same is true of their cleansuits designed to keep the products dirt-free, not humans who make them.

Some victims and surviving family members attended the premiere, which was followed by a panel discussion with three lawmakers of euljiro.

“The film itself is intense,” said Joseph DiGangi, senior science and technical adviser with the IPEN, who attended the premiere on the organization’s behalf.  “Imagine sitting in a room full of former workers and surviving family members who appear in the film while watching it in a quiet dark room with people sniffing and wiping their eyes.”

Stunning Premiere

“The premiere stunned the lawmakers,” added DiGangi. “The National Assembly location gave it a gravitas that increased the impact even more.”

After ten years of campaigning, on May 8, SHARPS prized open the gate of the country’s legislature as the then-would ruling Minjoo Party agreed to a four-point policy framework urging Samsung to resume dialogue with the advocacy group.

While the framework was the first-ever pledge by the ruling party on Samsung’s negligence in workers safety, it is also true that it was led by euljiro, a tiny faction, during the election cycle.

“The Minjoo Party and euljiro will be with you,” Lee Hack-young, an euljiro lawmaker said in a tweet after the premiere, “recognizing that human life is more important than corporate profit.”

There is little reason for SHARPS to ratchet down the pressure on the new ruling party which has a mixed record at best on disciplining Samsung and other big corporations.

An English-subtitled version of Stories from the Cleanroom will be available by August 2017.

Stolen Donation Box

On June 23 night, a donation box at SHARPS’s sit-in was stolen.  SHARPS called police, who said they would check CCTV footage in the area.  Samsung’s own CCTVs watch the sit-in from every possible angle, and its security guards set points around SHARPS’s canopy. 

Samsung would unlikely assist the police’s investigations.  However, you can help SHARPS.  You can wire your donations to the following account:

Account Holder:  SHARPS

Account Holder’s Contact Number: 82 2 3496 5067

Bank: Kookmin Bank

Bank Address: 64-140 Sadang 2Dong, Seoul, 156-814, Korea

Account Number: 043901-04-206831

SWIFT Code: CZNBKRSE

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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