- everyone who cares about the health of people who make our electronics
Over the past two decades, Samsung has become one of the most dominant electronics companies in the world, and is now a global leader in semiconductors, flat panel displays, mobile phones, and television production.
Sadly, this rapid rise to global dominance has come with serious consequences for the workers who produce the products – recent reports indicate that about 100 workers – mostly young women - have been stricken with cancer – mostly blood cancers - and at least 30 of them have died – making this the one of the largest known electronics cancer clusters in the world. (See http://tinyurl.com/2bl5c8a for more information).
Samsung has denied all responsibility for these illnesses and the Korean government has declined to declare the cancers “work related” and refuses to disclose results of its investigation of Samsung. In response, a strong support movement led by the victims and their families has emerged in Korea and around the world and is seeking justice for those who have suffered from occupational illness.
We the undersigned express our support for the workers and their families and call on the Korean government and Samsung to commit to the following principles in addressing this situation:
•Samsung should disclose all industrial hygiene monitoring and exposure records in its facilities, documenting which substances are being monitored and the results of that monitoring;
•Samsung should disclose all occupational health monitoring protocols and records for its workers, making sure to protect confidentiality; this should include the extent and duration of each worker’s exposure, as well as health outcomes data (morbidity and mortality) such as a mortality data file, corporate health records, and insurance records;
•Samsung and the Korean government should disclose the protocols and commit to disclose the complete results of all occupational health studies undertaken, including any studies done by outside consultants, such as ENVIRON; workers and their chosen experts need to be included in ongoing review of the protocols and study methods, which should be available for public review and comment, including submission of pertinent data from outside parties at each stage of any such study, including the review of and right to comment on any draft findings;
•Samsung should guarantee its workers that they have the right to refuse unsafe or unhealthy work and that they are protected from retaliation for exercising those rights (right-to-act);
•Samsung should phase out the use of toxic substances in their production when there are safer alternatives available;
•The South Korean government should assure fair compensation for all of the victims and insist that Samsung accept responsibility for its actions.