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Samsung Apologizes For Workers' Leukemia 150

itwbennett writes: "In an emailed statement, Samsung offered its 'sincerest apology' for the sickness and deaths of some of its workers, vowing to compensate those affected and their families. So far there have been 26 reported victims of blood cancers who worked in Samsung's Gi-Heung and On-Yang semiconductor plants. Ten have died. Other alleged workplace-related illnesses include miscarriages, infertility, hair loss, blood disorders, kidney troubles and liver disease."
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Samsung Apologizes For Workers' Leukemia

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  • "If they don't like cancer, they're free to find another job!"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You need to add something about obamacare and hosts files.

      • I patented cancer! These insensitive clods owe me naked and petrified grits in my cowboy neil goatse!
      • workers comp issue so under workers comp you do not use your own obamacare plan.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      "If they don't like cancer, they're free to find another job!"

      Don't forget "If you like your cancer, you can keep your cancer"

    • by Jiro ( 131519 )

      Where in the article does it say that Samsung caused the cancer?

      So they apologized for it. Companies apologize for things that aren't their fault all the time. That's not a confession of guilt, that's a public relations ploy, and is solely based on whether people blame them for causing cancer, not whether they really caused any cancer.

      Besides, if you read the apology carefully, it's not even worded as a confession. It doesn't say 'we apologize for giving people cancer'. They're just apologizing for makin

    • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

      Well, that is true. Don't like the current working situation, leave.

  • by Anonymous Coward


  • Only apologies? (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 )

    Yeah don't offer any kind of financial assistance. That shit's expensive.

  • As a Canadian, I am deeply offended by the fact that Samsung apologized to its workers without buying genuine Canadian apologies first.

    And as a Canadian, I apologize for this lame attempt at a joke.

  • Wouldn't it be cheaper to have gotten proper filter masks and ventilation for the workers?
    • Cheaper? It hasn't cost them any money yet.

    • by Desler ( 1608317 )

      In the long-term, yes, but shareholders only care about the current quarter's bottom line.

    • You are trivializing it. It's fairly difficult to make sure with reasonable certainty that workers and people downstream are not harmed. OSHA and EPA are two of the favorite whipping-boys of the business lobby in the US. And we don't go as far as Europe.
  • I'm curious (Score:4, Interesting)

    by synapse7 ( 1075571 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @03:51PM (#47002447)

    How was it contracted?

  • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @03:56PM (#47002493)
    Multiple confirmed cancer/disease cases directly attributed to the Giheung facility where solar cells are produced. Clean energy for all!
    • Yes, this is totally a solar power issue and not a corporate malfeasance issue.
      • Just pointing out the irony. I see that must have ruffled your feathers a bit.
        • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

          Yep you did. Solar for some is a religion and not a technology. Too bad really since it is useful but not as they used to say a "golden bullet".

        • Just pointing out the irony.

          Please continue explaining, because I believe you'll have a hard time:

          the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
          Eg: "Clear as mud"

          a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.
          plural noun: ironies
          Eg: Ronald Reagan getting shot due to bullet ricocheting off his bullet-proof car

          a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character's words or actions are clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.
          E.g: Pick a random Shakespeare play

        • Just pointing out the irony.

          Whatever you say, Alanis. In the same way that electric cars became bad the first time a driver ran over someone's dog in a Tesla.

    • never a death attributed to coal! sooo clean!

    • by tool462 ( 677306 )

      It's still clean energy. Humans are carbon-neutral.

    • Yeah, when you don't give a shit about safety (as like, beyond the regulations, which are a bare minimum for preventing you from dying *on the spot*), stuff like this tends to happen in a factory handling and/or producing chemicals. The company I work for is in the same business, but never heard of any similar incidents in my workplace.

  • We are so sorry to have poisoned you and then ignored you until someone else spoke up on your behalf. I hope we can still be friends...

    ...if you're still alive...

    ...and can keep up your quota.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm installing Samsung printer drivers now. I think I know where the leukemia comes from...

  • While I don't know the backstory, I applaud Samsung for stepping up and taking responsibility for the problem and compensating the workers who have suffered. SamSung over the years has struck me as a responsible company over and over, for multiple diverse reasons. This is just another to ad to the list.

    A company cannot help that there are problems, but it can help by trying to do the right thing afterwards, and trying not to be evil.

    I note that a number of the slashdot comments are cynical to the extreme, b

    • by Desler ( 1608317 )

      They only "stepped up" after 7+ years of workers and their families fighting Samsung who was denying there were any problems at the plant. What have they done to deserve praise? That they did something nearly a decade after they should have?

    • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Insightful)

      by niado ( 1650369 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:05PM (#47003411)

      A company cannot help that there are problems, but it can help by trying to do the right thing afterwards, and trying not to be evil.

      It's too easy to be cynical while living in the 1 percent of the worlds wealth.

      Not sure if troll....

      A company can most certainly adhere to basic safety standards instead of sacrificing a bunch of lives for profit in places where the safety standards are not legally mandated.

      In this particular case, an organization owned and operated by a bunch of 1%ers wrecked the lives of numerous poverty-stricken workers and their families through gross negligence. And they are unlikely to suffer impactful financial consequences as a result.

      • by Desler ( 1608317 )

        And denied that there was anything wrong for nearly a decade. It's a farce that anyone would applaud them for this.

    • Re:Good for them (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:17PM (#47003533)

      Samsung is the largest of 5 companies that control 90% of the SK economy. Most of the SK govt is literally on their payroll. Look up the term "Chaebol". In the SK you don't even /talk/ about Samsung because if anything you say might be perceived as negative you're basically unable to find a job for the rest of your life.

      They're about as monstrous and amoral as a company can get.. But it's tolerated because the SK economy has such rapid growth. The moment that's over shit is going to hit the fan.

  • They should make these people millionaires (in U.S. currency). Ultimately there is no compensation to the victims families for this.
  • by Paul Fernhout ( 109597 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @11:19PM (#47006067) Homepage

    From a law firm (biased, perhaps): []
    "Workers at IBM and at other microchip fabs, or "fabrication plants," are exposed to benzene and other toxic carcinogens that can cause birth defects, leukemia, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions. While "bunny suits" prevent dust, hair, and skin cells from coming into contact with microchips, too often not enough is done in microchip factories to prevent the person inside the suit from breathing dangerous cancer-causing chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde while at the workplace. Since 2000, IBM has faced lawsuits from more than 250 former microchip plant employees. And since 2000, IBM has worked to suppress scientific findings showing the increase of cancer incidences in their microchip plant workers."

    And also:
    "Life In The Plume: IBM's Pollution Haunts a Village" []
    "But for much of its history, Big Blue routinely polluted its birthplace. Tons of industrial solvents used to clean computer parts were dumped down drains or leached from leaky pipes into the ground for years before environmental rules required that such "spills" be reported. In 2002, scientists discovered the ground was exacting its revenge: The large underground chemical plume was releasing gases into homes and offices in a 350-acre swath south of the plant. The main chemical was a liquid cleaning agent called trichloroethylene, or TCE, that has been linked to cancer and other illnesses. IBM took responsibility and launched a multimillion-dollar cleanup. At the same time, the company announced plans to sell the plant and to ship many jobs overseas. ... "We found out that IBM had two faces in this community," said Matt LaTessa, a barber whose shop is on Monroe Street in The Plume. "One was a nice face, beautiful, big buildings and a lot of jobs. But underneath they were rotten. They were poisoning us." ..."


    "MD Anderson Taps IBM Watson to Power "Moon Shots" Mission Aimed at Ending Cancer, Starting with Leukemia" []
    "MD Anderson's Oncology Expert Advisor powered by IBM Watson is designed to integrate the knowledge of MD Anderson's clinicians and researchers, and to advance the cancer center's goal of treating patients with the most effective, safe and evidence-based standard of care available. Starting with the fight against Leukemia, MD Anderson's Oncology Expert Advisor is expected to help MD Anderson clinicians develop, observe and fine-tune treatment plans for patients, while helping them recognize adverse events that may occur throughout the care continuum. The cognitive-powered technology is also expected to help researchers advance novel discoveries."

    Although, consider:
    "Eat For Health - The Anti-Cancer Diet" []

    Also Vitamin D and iodine can help prevent cancer...

    When I worked at IBM Watson as a software developer, part of that time my workstation was put in windowless old labs that has been used for who knows what... To his credit, my supervisor tried really hard to make sure the second lab had been fully renovated...

    Someone from Switzerland who saw other windowless offices at Watson said all that would be illegal in Switzerland, to have people working in windowless rooms... Not sure what the Swiss lawas are on chemical exposure... Back then was when I thought a lot about how all fabs and related labs should be 100% roboticized on the production floor. Bunny suits in that sense are such a quaint 20th century idea...

  • How many employees work at these plants? How do the per-capita rates of these illnesses compare to the rates for those not employed by Samsung? "26 workers contracted leukemia!" sounds bad, but if the rates are commensurate with the overall population then Samsung probably isn't at fault.

    (Please note that I'm bitching about shoddy reporting, not trying to be an industry apologist.)

  • who just had a heart attack: []
    "The man credited with turning Samsung into one of the world's most powerful companies is in recovery after suffering a heart attack on Saturday night. In an official statement Samsung confirmed Chairman Lee Kun-hee, 72, was rushed to hospital and treated with CPR. Both the company and hospital officials have declined to say how long he is expected to be hospitalised."

    We have a Samsung SSD, a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet, and quite a few Samsu

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.