By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. officially apologized and promised compensation Wednesday over the sufferings and deaths of its semiconductor workers from illnesses that family members claim are work-related.
"Several workers at our production facilities suffered from leukemia and other incurable diseases, which also lead to some deaths," said Kwon Oh-hyun, the CEO of the electronics giant.
"We should have settled the issue earlier, and we are deeply heartbroken that we failed to do so and express our deep apology," Kwon said. He added that Samsung will now make efforts to settle the issue in a sincere manner.
The company said it will also make efforts to establish a third party to settle the issue with consent from the victims and their families.
The announcement came a month after a dispute with family members and their advocates over how they would conduct their talks aimed at explaining the illnesses and deaths of semiconductor workers at Samsung plants.
Controversy over the cause and responsibility has been growing after Hwang Yu-mi, a former employee at Samsung's chip-making facilities in Giheung, just south of Seoul, died from leukemia in 2007. Family members say the death was caused by exposure to lethal chemicals at the factory.
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