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Samsung issues 'deep apology' to cancer-hit semiconductor workers

Firm promises compensation after illnesses and deaths that have been blamed on its fabs

Samsung 60nm 1Gb DDR 2 DRAM chip and DIMM

Samsung has officially apologised to over 200 semiconductor workers who suffered from leukaemia and other cancers – for which their families blame the Korean firm.

The company has also promised to compensate "affected" workers and their families, according to local news agency Yonhap.

"Several workers at our production facilities suffered from leukaemia and other incurable diseases, which also led to some deaths," said Kwon Oh-hyun, CEO of Samsung Electronics.

"We should have settled the issue earlier, and we are deeply heartbroken that we failed to do so and express our deep apology," he added.

The conciliatory remarks come after politician Sim Sang-jeung, a member of the opposition, urged both the government and Samsung to apologise to the 243 semiconductor employees who developed rare cancers or died from them. Their families claim their illnesses were caused by exposure to lethal chemicals in their work.

The company had previously resisted pressure to make amends for the situation, even going so far as to provide assistance to a government compensation agency that was engaged in lawsuits over its refusal to pay out to workers. Kwon said Samsung would no longer be involved in these suits. ®

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