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Stay home, unionist tells fainting workers

Stay home, unionist tells fainting workers

A UNION official is urging workers at a garment factory in Kampong Cham to stay home from work until their employers can figure out what has been causing fainting spells that have hospitalised more than 100 in the past week.

Chorn Theang, director of the Free Trade Union in Kampong Cham province, said at least seven workers fainted yesterday within an hour of beginning work at the Manhattan Cambodia garment factory. It comes after more than 100 were sent to hospital since Thursday.

“The factory owner did not allow the workers to stop working or notice how many days the workers must stop for the situation to get better,” Chorn Theang said.

Sam Seiha, chief of administration at the factory, said yesterday that a committee from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training visited the factory but did not find anything suspicious.

“Until today, our officials did not find any chemicals in the factory,” he said.

Sam Seiha suggested many of the fainting cases could have been the result of a domino effect. “When [the workers] saw their friends fainting, it caused them to feel afraid, so they started fainting one after another.”

Heng Nareth, director of the pollution control department at the Ministry of Environment, however, said there was a simpler explanation.

“The reason the workers fainted is because of air pollution,” he said.

“When the factory owner allows more air to blow inside the factory, it will be better.”

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