Almost 100 More Factory Workers Faint

Almost 350 workers have now fainted in garment factories across the country this week, with 95 workers collapsing in three different factories in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Takeo provinces Thursday, according to the Labor Ministry.

At about 7:30 a.m. in the CN Prosperous Garment factory in Phnom Penh, 52 workers collapsed, said Cheav Bunrith, spokesman for the Labor Ministry’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF). On Monday, 95 workers fainted at the same factory.

“We are still figuring out the reasons, but like I told you before, there is nothing strange technically. For a factory that has a fainting incident, this may last a number of days,” Mr. Bunrith said.

“It is due to personal problems of the workers themselves, who have weak health conditions. We have found no problems with the chemical substances or the building environment,” he added.

At about 7:15 a.m. Thursday in the Vonammy garment factory in Takeo province, 29 workers fainted, according to a report from the NSSF, a day after 65 workers collapsed there after eating tainted shrimp paste during lunch.

“[The] workers started to faint again due to their existing fearful mentalities,” the report says, adding that the 29 women were treated at nearby hospitals and health clinics.

Ly Ying, an administrator at Vonnamy, said the factory agreed to allow the women who fainted to return to work on Monday without any cut to their wages.

About 14 workers from Crystal Martin factory in Kandal province collapsed at about 9:30 a.m. after a short circuit in a nearby building set off a smoke alarm, sparking panic among workers, Mr. Bunrith said.

“The working employees felt fear and caused chaos,” he said.

The factory closed Thursday to avoid further faintings, while those who fainted were sent to nearby hospitals, he added.

Representatives for the CN Prosperous and Crystal Martin factories could not be reached for comment.

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