Workers are treated at Moul Mith Clinic after a mass fainting incident on Wednesday at a factory in Phnom Penh.
Workers are treated at Moul Mith Clinic after a mass fainting incident on Wednesday at a factory in Phnom Penh. Yon Sineat

Adidas responds after recent mass faintings

In the wake of recent mass faintings at a factory in Phnom Penh that supplies to Adidas, the brand said in a statement yesterday that while it was not aware of the recent incidents, in the past this “phenomenon” has been linked to psychological factors and “nutrition issues”.

Andre Mendes, spokesman for Adidas Group, said when mass faintings at Adidas supplier factories in Cambodia had been reported in the past, they had been caused by psychosomatic responses linked to stress, and also to nutritional issues.

“On our part, whenever we had seen such incidences, we deal with it on a scientific basis, seeking first to determine whether there are any occupational or environmental conditions that has caused the workers to faint, or exhibit other medical symptoms,” he wrote in an email.

Nutritional issues have long been a part of conversation surrounding mass faintings, though few factories have taken the step of providing nutritious meals to workers, according to Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union.

Thorn said he knew of two factories that had been offering a healthy meal per day to workers for almost two years. As a result, those factories have not seen fainting incidents, he said.

“It kind of solved the problem,” he said.

It was unclear whether Adidas has a meal programme for its suppliers, and follow-up questions were unanswered as of press time.