Aug 03, 2015 11:20 PM EDT
Cases of factory-contracted illnesses and accidents have been coming out in the media in recent years. Samsung, with production centers in Austria, Shanghai, Shenzen and TianJin in China; Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, and Vietnam, has come under fire for questionable practices. From 2012 to 2015, they have been cited for violating child labor laws, and they have since cut ties with some of their errant factories. One such supplier that they have cut ties with was Shinyang Electronics, and the other, HEG Electronics in Huizhou, Guangdong, China, allegedly dispatched its child workers before Samsung’s representatives could come in and investigate. In the past couple of years, the South Korean activist group Sharps has been helping workers in lobbying for workplace changes and in pressuring Samsung to create a better work environment for its workers. In response to the pressure, Samsung had issued a public apology in May 2014. And as of today, Samsung has announced that it is putting together an $85.8 million fund to compensate its workers who have contracted cancer while on the job.
This move is one of the best acts of kindness in the light of workplace injustices by the different tech companies. Back in 2012, news of Foxconn’s dismal workplace conditions leaked into the public eye and cast a bad light on Apple, one of its major clients. Meanwhile, LG came under fire when a woman from its Mexico factory went public with her story. The woman, Rosa Moreno, lost her hands in an accident while at work on a station making parts for flat screen TVs. She traced the story of how she was dismissed, even ridiculed. LG has since apologized for the incident, neglect, and downright abuse, but it is worth noting that it took publicity around Rosa Moreno’s story for them to make the move.
It is commendable, then, that Samsung chose to build a fund to take care of its workers stricken with cancer. The Verge notes that Samsung is working towards becoming one of the world’s top ten employers.
This is, indeed, a good step towards that goal.
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