In a statement to Reuters, which first reported the story, Samsung said it would make payments to sick plant workers, contractors, and their families. The money will also fund research and improve worker safety.
Two hundred Samsung employees have become ill since the 1990s after working at the company’s South Korean factories. At least 70 of whom died from lymphoma, leukemia and other diseases caused by extended radiation and chemical exposure, according to the SHARPS activist group, which focuses on health and safety rights of Samsung employees.
Samsung publicly apologized in 2014 for its working conditions in the semiconductor plants, where one 32-year-old worker died of brain cancer in 2012. The worker, Lee Yun-jeong previously asked the Korean government to intervene and compensate her, but it denied her request because of insufficient evidence of what caused her cancer.
Similar to other industries, tech companies have struggled to maintain healthy working conditions internationally. The BBC investigated Chinese factories making Apple products last year, uncovering exhausted, hungry, and overworked employees. In Indonesia, BBC found, Apple was accused of using conflict minerals, a practice the company has vowed to stop.
Mobile device titan Samsung will set aside $86 million to support workers who develop cancer and other diseases from working at the company’s chip and display factories.