Over 50 workers fainted yesterday afternoon at a factory in Phnom Penh that supplies Adidas, among other brands, according to local police and worker representatives.
The incident took place at New Orient factory, located inside the Canadia industrial park along Veng Sreng Boulevard.
Unionist Net Sreythom, 40, said three workers fainted around 9:30am.
After lunch break, she said, 49 more fainted and were sent to a clinic. She added that this is the second time in a week that faintings have occurred, following an incident last Monday in which a few workers had passed out.
Theng Kosal, Choam Chao police chief, blamed a lack of sleep and workers frequenting “nightclubs”. However, he added, “The doctor said workers panicked when they saw the other collapse, and most of the workers who fainted had blood sugar levels that were too low.”
Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, said the factory had allowed the fainted workers to take the day off. “This factory is not a bad factory . . . [T]hey make constant improvements [on working conditions],” Thorn said, adding that a two-pronged approach was needed to tackle faintings.
First, he said, union and factory representatives should check the temperature, environment and cooling system immediately after such an incident, and secondly the Labour Ministry should monitor factories to improve work hours, low wages, nutrition and transportation.