On 7 May, Lee Yunjeong died, becoming the 55th person to die as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals on Samsung's production line
SOUTH KOREA: Lee Yunjeong aged 32 has tragically become the latest victim in a long line of young workers who have died of cancer-related illnesses after working on the production of semiconductors at Samsung in Korea. She leaves behind a husband and two children. Lee Yunjeong worked in the Samsung semiconductor Assembly & Test factory in Onyang for six years from 1997 to 2003, and was diagnosed with malignant brain cancer in 2010.
According to SHARPS, the organization which has been campaigning on behalf of workers suffering from occupational diseases like leukemia or lymphoma, 140 Samsung workers have contracted work-related diseases and 55 of them have died.
In June 2011, the Seoul Administrative Court made a landmark ruling that, in the case of two workers who died, recognized the link between the leukemia that killed them and their work at Samsung and established that the families should receive compensation for their deaths. Samsung and Korean government refused to accept this decision and the company continues to deny responsibility and oppose all applications from Samsung workers for compensation, with the result that Lee Yunjeong received no compensation.
IMF affiliate KMWU, which has long struggled to organize Samsung workers in the face of fierce opposition by the company, will join KCTU and SHARPS at Lee Yunjeong 's funeral on May 10 to bring public attention to the tragic loss of young lives at the hands of Samsung. IMF is joining these organizations in calling on Samsung and the Korean government to compensate all victims and stop violating the rights of Samsung workers.