Samsung Electronics Co yesterday said it would set up an independent committee to inspect its facilities, the company’s latest concession after reports that scores of workers developed rare cancers and other illnesses at semiconductor factories.
The South Korean company, people with leukemia and other work-related diseases, and a local civic group formally agreed to establish an ombudsman committee that is to monitor and report on working conditions. The concession came after Samsung announced a 100 billion won (US$83 million) fund in July last year to compensate affected employees and fund preventive measures.
“We are grateful to the related parties for their collaborative partnership on finding a solution,” Samsung said in a statement. “Samsung will faithfully implement proposed improvements from the ombudsman committee and remains fully committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for our valued employees.”
In an abrupt about-face, Samsung issued a public apology last year to workers who said they contracted rare cancers linked to chemicals at its semiconductor plants and to the surviving family members it battled in South Korea’s courts during a struggle that stretched nine years. Samsung is one of the world’s biggest chip makers, supplying its own devices and those made by competitors, including Apple Inc.
“Samsung should help this committee to operate independently in a very transparent way and should open up any core information whenever it’s needed,” Law & Business Research Center attorney Lee Ji-soo said. “If similar things happen in a country that has higher bars on workers’ rights or advanced legal protection tools, it could continue to haunt Samsung.”
Samsung has in the past denied links between some of the reported diseases, including leukemia, and potential carcinogens used in its plants. In a handful of cases, South Korean courts and the government’s worker-compensation board formally connected cancers or precancerous blood conditions to semiconductor work for Samsung, especially at its oldest and once-biggest production facility.
The company said it is committed to compensating workers and their families.
Samsung shares finished 0.5 percent lower at 1.15 million won in Seoul yesterday after posting a third straight annual decline last year.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion