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Garment unit stunned by mass fainting incident
Aug '11
A garment unit in Cambodia has been hit by an incident in which about 100 workers fainted and collapsed, company officials and union representatives revealed.

Noun Chhenghour, President of Cambodia Union Workers, said that the workers at the M&V Factory in Kampong Chhnang started fainting at around 9:00 A.M. and over 80 of them were shifted to hospital.

She revealed that the reason behind such fainting of workers is still unknown, as the concerned officials who inspected the factory, did not reach any conclusion.

Un Chhan Teak, the company spokesperson elucidated that the working conditions at the factory had nothing to do with the incident, as it all came about as a result of shock. He said that as one or two women working at the factory fainted, others too followed suit out of panic.

Following the incident, the affected workers were allowed to take two-day off, he added.

Even prior to the current incident, two similar incidents of mass collapse had occurred at a garment factory in Phnom Penh earlier this month, which led the Ministries of environment, health and labour to initiate a joint inspection.

The investigation held fear and inadequate sleep as responsible factors for the incidents. It discovered nothing wrong at Zhen Tai Garment's factory.

Another factory that supplies to Puma, a leading sportswear company, was twice hit by similar incidents during the current year in April and again during end part of July. After the second incident, the factory authorities released a statement to the effect that they are taking serious consideration of the happenings and would come out with an “improvement plan”.

Worker's leaders claimed that in order to sustain themselves, workers are cutting back on nourishments and are working extra hours. Those working in garment units with export licence need to work 48 hours per week to draw US$ 61 per month.

Sou Rin Ravuthy, Director of Kampong Chhnang Provincial Hospital, stated that according to doctors there were many reasons like lack of nutrition, tiredness and shock felt on viewing co-workers faint, which led to collapse of other workers.

He revealed that recovery of some workers was very fast and were discharged after they were given medicine. He added that they checked the oxygen and blood pressure of the workers which was found to be normal. This, he said, validates that the collapse was not a result of deficient factory environment or chemical spills.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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