South Korea's consumer electronics giant Samsung has offered an official apology to workers who have developed cancers after employment in a chip factory. The company said nothing stood in the way of a compensation deal.
Samsung executives apologized to sickened workers on Wednesday, some seven years after a 23-year-old employee died of leukemia. More chip factory workers developed various cancers that were linked to chemical exposure.
Samsung admitted it should have sought a solution earlier as it signaled an abrupt shift from its previous stance of denying any responsibility whatsoever.
"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 sincere apology to the affected people," Vice Chairman Kwon-Oh-hyun said in a statement.
Gesture of good will
He added that the official apology from the world's largest maker of smartphones and memory chips did not mean the company conceded a direct link between the cancer cases and chemicals used in its factories.
Samsung provided assistance to a government compensation agency. In South Korea, firms pay levies that the government uses to fund compensation to workers.
The electronics giant's apology came a month after a prominent opposition lawmaker, Sim Sang-jeung, urged Seoul and Samsung to come up with measures to help victims and prevent workplace diseases.
hg / cjc (dpa, AP)