Finally an apology
“We feel regret that a solution for this delicate matter has not been found in a timely manner, and we would like to use this opportunity to express our sincerest apology to the affected people,” said Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun, who also oversees Samsung’s semiconductor and display panel businesses. While his remarks were sent by email to the media, local news channels have also shown him reading the statement to a group of gathered reporters.
Just last year, a film was made with donations that brought the possible connection between Samsung’s older factories and cancers in its workers. The film focused on Hwang Yu-mi who died at age 23 in 2007 after battling leukemia. The movie also focused on her father’s legal battles with Samsung.
Last month, opposition party lawmaker Sim Sang-jeung harangued Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and the government to work on compensatory measures. Samsung for years has been loathe to apologize but with today’s announcement the company has clearly changed its tune. The government agency, Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service, has appealed a number of Samsung lawsuits where only three of a dozen cases have resulted in compensation.
Samsung apology accepted
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930)’s announcement was welcomed by Sim and the advocacy group SHARP which has helped dozens of families affected by the possible exposures in their legal battles.
It’s widely believed that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930)’s chairman and son of the founder. Lee Hun-hee is looking to put this issue to bed before ceding leadership to his son in the near future. That near future may have been sped up this week after the chairman suffered a heart attack last week. While Samsung is a publicly traded company the family still enjoys a considerable influence at the company.