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‘Solvable problems’ focus of fainting review

Amid reports of increased mass-fainting incidents in Cambodia’s garment sector, workers, employers and government officials gathered in Phnom Penh yesterday for a roundtable discussion on the issue.

The conference, which was organised by the Cambodian Center for Independent Media, identified issues such as workday lengths and holidays as solvable problems that could reduce a large number of garment worker faintings, said Labour Ministry Inspection Department Director Ouk Chanthou.

“The factories teach employees about safety and good sanitation, so I believe that fainting will be reduced,” Chanthou said.

“The ministry will also put more pressure on garment factories. If they do not respect labour standards … they could be fined or face other punishment.”

Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng last week warned factory owners of fines for mass fainting incidents.

Major causes of fainting at garment factories include excessive overtime and hot workplaces, said ILO representative Yem Pich Malika, who attended the conference.

Kith Meng, a worker at Kin Tay garment factory said she wants factory owners to be held more accountable for maintaining workplace standards that could reduce fainting.

“I want the [Labour Ministry] to put more pressure on garment factories that abuse the labour law,” she said.

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