‘At least 24 international apparel brands have pledged to immediately investigate the mass fainting “phenomenon” that has hit the Cambodian garment factories that supply them.
Unionists have pointed to the low pay workers receive – about 30 US cents an hour – as a major cause of the fainting.
Staff are working longer hours and skipping meals to make ends meet, they have said.’
~ Phnom Penh Post 9/9/2011
“Born Sam Ath said chemical odours and bad drinking water may have been behind the latest incident,” reported The Guardian on another fainting case, affecting over 800 workers, back in June 2011. “We have had a bad smell inside the factory for two days. We drank water and then we were poisoned,” said Chhorm Sokry, 24, speaking from inside an ambulance.
Before coming to Cambodia, on a restricted budget, I did a little cheapy shop, picking up tops and skirts for a few pounds each in the Primark end of Summer Sale. The cheapest skirt I bought at £2.50 has been the one I have worn most. Oh how I have loved Primark and H&M. But just because I didn’t know exactly who was making my cheapy clothes it does not excuse me from my own duplicity in demanding cheap clothes to be made by underpaid, overworked and sometime poisoned women in the sweat shops of the developing world.
(Tori takes note and plans to design a few more of her own clothes and see the lovely seamstress up the road in Kampot with her old Singer machine proudly shining it’s brass parts in the afternoon sun, a bottle of water at her side, a child and a merry dog at her feet and her crutches leaning against the wall where the most beautiful Cambodian silk bags hang. I bought one of those already. $8. I love it.)