Why Are Some Samsung Employees Getting Sick?

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April 10 (Bloomberg)-- Cam Simpson examines the story of Hwang Yu-Mi and the two new movies that document plight of Samsung workers. He speaks with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Dozens of samsung workers with rare forms of cancer have become very public in south korea.

Two new movies document several families fights against the biggest company.

It is the subject of a future in this week's bloomberg businessweek.

It is a gripping story that you have written here, following closely one young woman who died of a very rare form of cancer who was working at samsung's factory.

At the same time, another woman who she was working with died of the same thing.

Tell us exactly what happened here.

There is the common, iconic moments in korea.

Everybody knows the stories now.

It started with this young woman who was 18 years old when she went to work for samsung.

She went to work at the against semi conductor plant at the time in 2003. it was at a time when 80% of samsung's revenues came from chipmaking.

This was the biggest chip making plant that they had.

She worked together with this other woman at the same workstation.

She became sick with a form of leukemia that three and 100,000 peoplein 100,000 people in korea die from.

While she was recovering, the woman who worked right next to her also got sick and died within five weeks of being diagnosed.

These raised some alarms.

Especially for the father.

He was a taxi driver.

He took on the nation's biggest and most powerful company -- samsung is responsible for 20% of the entire gdp of south korea.

It turned into a real david versus goliath battle with the company that went into the courtroom.

Ultimately, he won.

His case is now being appealed.

That is the story that is being told now across korea and that's the story rewrite about -- we write about.

That battle that has become quite iconic in the country.

You say he won.

The courts decided that her work made her sick?

Was responsible for her illness.

This type of leukemia is probably more associated with being off by chemicals or radiation than any other form of cancer known to man.

It is a very specific, aggressive and very difficult form of cancer.

What happened was, the father tried to get worker compensation as we do in the u.s. from the government.

For his daughter's death.

When that claim was rejected by the south korean authorities that were responsible for workers compensation, he had to appeal that in court.

Samsung intervened in that case and challenged the rights of the family to get worker's compensation.

That is what made this such a big battle.

These claims would not have cost samsung a penny yet, they got involved and was offering and paying money to families of other workers and to this young woman to get them to withdraw these claims for workers compensation and stockp talking publicly about the groups helping them.

All of this made this a public story and south korea.

They say, while we are deeply saddened by the loss of former members of the samsung family and are concerned about those battling illness, we would like to read a rate that independent research has not found a correlation between employee illness and work lace environment.

In your reporting of the story, do you feel that samsung is at fault here?

I don't think they are at fault.

It is not even a requirement that they be found at fault.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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