Phnom Penh (AFP) – More than 200 Cambodian garment workers have been hospitalised after a new spate of mass faintings at factories in the kingdom this week, officials said Thursday.
Tainted food, poor working conditions and the spraying of insecticide are the suspected causes, according to Khim Sunsoda, deputy governor of Pur Senchey district where the incidents happened.
The three factories — run by the companies Shen Zhou, Daqian Textile and New Wide — make clothes for brands including Puma and Adidas.
About 650,000 workers provide the backbone of Cambodia’s multi-billion dollar garment industry — a key source of foreign income for the impoverished Southeast Asian nation.
Safety worries are rife with periodic mass fainting episodes that are often blamed on poor health, bad ventilation or exposure to dangerous chemicals.
“The health of Cambodian workers is generally poor because with the current wages they cannot make a good living,” said Seang Sambath, head of the Worker Friendship Union Federation.
In January, police opened fire on striking garment factory employees demanding a minimum wage of $160 a month for their work in an industry which supplies brands including Gap, Nike and H&M, killing at least four civilians.