South Korean shipbuilding giant HD Hyundai said Wednesday that it will set up a foundation to support bereaved families of victims of industrial accidents at shipyards – the first of its kind within the industry.
According to the group, the idea was proposed by HD Hyundai Chairman and co-CEO Kwon Oh-gap who also donated 100 million won ($75,477) out of his pocket. The group’s three shipbuilding affiliates – HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries – are also joining for funding.
“Thinking about the hearts of families who have lost parents or children due to unforeseen accidents makes my heart ache,” Kwon said in a statement. “Although it's late, it's our duty to console the pain and sorrow of these individuals, and HD Hyundai must take the lead."
The tentatively called “HD Hyundai Heemang Foundation” aims primarily to support the educational expenses of college students among families affected by major accidents. Heemang means “hope” in Korean. The group added plans to extend assistance in stabilizing the livelihoods of bereaved families.
A foundation board, consisting of five directors, will be set up and most of the board members will come from outside the group to enhance transparency in management.
"We will do our best to create accident-free workplaces by gathering efforts between labor and management through strengthening safety education, safety facilities, and increasing manpower," an HD Hyundai official said.
In the meantime, Chairman Kwon has played a key role in boosting HD Hyundai’s social responsibility activities and spreading a corporate-wide giving culture since he led the establishment of the HD Hyundai Oilbank 1% Sharing Foundation, the refiner’s charity fund for employees to donate 1 percent of their salaries founded back in 2011. The initiative was extended to other affiliates in 2020.