In August 2013 Brazil filed a lawsuit against Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung, alleging poor working conditions at a factory in the Amazon. The Brazilian government was said to be demanding 250 million Reals in "collective moral damages". The company was said to already be facing approximately 1,200 legal complaints by workers at Manaus plant, one of the largest of Samsung's 25 factories worldwide, which employed 6,000 workers.
The Brazilian Ministry of Labor said that employees at the factory worked up to 15 hours a day, including 10 hours on their feet, sometimes for 27 days straight. It claimed that the company "subjects its employees to the risk of illness from repetitive activity and the intense pace of work on the assembly line".
Supporters for the Health And Rights of People in the Semiconductor industry (SHARPS) has been campaigning against Samsung for seven years, since the death of the first victim of a cancer cluster at one of the company's semi-conductor plant in South Korea. 23-year old Hwang Yu-mi was the first of more than 50 former Samsung employees to have died from acute leukaemia and other blood diseases after being exposed to chemicals at work.
Following an international campaign and an article exposing the deaths on Bloomberg Businessweek the company finally publicly apologised for the deaths in May 2014. The company CEO said Samsung would stop intervening in compensation lawsuits. SHARPS claims the company “used an army of high-paid lawyers to delay and derail the legal proceedings until the victims and their families were exhausted emotionally and financially". However, no commitment was made to withdraw a number of civilian and criminal charges against the families of the victims and SHARPs activists for holding demonstrations against the company.