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Mass faintings: Deplorable working conditions continue hitting laborers

Mass faintings are occurring at two factories in Cambodia due to suspected harsh working conditions.

On Thursday, 118 people fainted and many others suffered stomach problems at Shen Zhou and Daqian Textile factories. Investigations are being conducted into these establishments. It's well-known that textile working conditions in this part of the world are unacceptable with long hours, strong chemicals, no ventilation, and low pay. WebPro News reports April 4 that food poisoning was one of the suspicions behind this week's mass faintings.

Unethical labor practices have resulted in more protests that have been reduced by the government's violent tactics. Workers are poor, not earning over $100 a month. The industry brings in $5 billion annually and about 600,000 people work in it.

The mass faintings make news just before unions go on a one-week strike April 7 to get pay raises and acceptable working conditions. The January 3 strike resulted in violence that killed five workers.

Copyright © 2014 Heather Tooley

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