LONDON – Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has said it will provide medical treatment costs for semiconductor and LCD manufacturing workers for up to ten years if they are diagnosed with cancer within three years of retiring from the company. This is according to Korean news reports that referenced unnamed Samsung officials.
The move comes despite the fact that a Samsung-commissioned study found no evidence that workers were more likely to contract cancer as a result of working in its wafer fabs. However, it also comes after Samsung was ordered in June 2011 by a court in Seoul to pay compensation to the families of two young employees who died of leukemia. At the time of the court order Samsung spokesperson said the ruling was not final.
Without admitting any liability Samsung said Tuesday (Aug. 30) that it will pay treatment costs for up to 10 years and 100 million won (about $94,000) in compensation if a person dies while under treatment, according to The Korean Herald.
"The measures were drafted to share the pain with those suffering from cancer following retirement as fellow workers, although the working environment proved not to have relations to the cause of cancer," The Korean Herald quoted a Samsung official as saying.
The scheme is open to those who retired on or after Jan. 1, 2000 with one year's service and who can show they were diagnosed with cancer within three-years of retirement.
According to a Reuters report published in July 2011 at the time the study results were announced Samsung was then saying that 26 past chip manufacturing employees had been diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma of which number 10 had subsequently died of cancer.
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