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Nike seeks investigation of mass fainting incidents

Global sportswear giant Nike has asked the International Labour Organisation’s industry monitoring body to investigate the two mass fainting incidents at its supplier Sabrina (Cambodia) Manufacturing last week and report its finding to it, Nike said yesterday.

“Nike has requested ILO Better [Factories] Cambodia, the industry supply chain governance body in Cambodia, to include this incident in their current research into the causes behind mass faintings in the region,” it said in a statement to the Post.

“Given the recent history of mass faintings in Cambodia, we have asked Better [Factories] Cambodia to extend their research in this area to the current incident. We expect to receive their report next week,” the email said.

Maeve Galvin, a Better Factories consultant, said their investigation had been completed and that it has been working closely with Nike on the incident and with other brands sourcing from Cambodia on the wider issue of fainting

She said Better Factories was preparing to implement an advocacy plan to help alleviate the causes of faintings at factories, and that poor communications between workers and management were one of several common threads in the fainting incidents, which had no single cause.

The advocacy campaign would include “comedy-themed television programming that would show life on the factory floor” and distribution of “nutrition calendars for workers developed by workers”, Galvin said. “The comedy will present messages on how to avoid fainting to workers and the wider public,” she added.

The campaign would include incentives for factories and workers.

A “one change campaign” would provide an incentive for factories to make one change that alleviated one of the factors identified as underlying the fainting incidents.

Buyers would be notified that the factory had made the change, she said.

The campaign would also draw on a group of 10 “experts by experience” which would comprise workers who had either fainted or been in a factory when a fainting incident occurred.

These experts would become “the faces and voices” of the issue, Galvin said.

The “experts by experience” would “build the skills of a small group of workers, giving them the skills to become industry advocates and showcase their knowledge”, she said.

She said eliminating mass fainting would require a long-term, integrated strategy involving all stakeholders, and require behavioural changes among workers and management.

The new advocacy campaign, which will be launched at the end of this month, was “designed to reach the industry as a whole”, Galvin said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent MacIsaac at vincent.macisaac@phnompenhpost.com

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