PHNOM PENH, June 20 (Xinhua) -- The International Labor Organization's Better Factories Cambodia (ILO-BFC) released its six-month report on Wednesday, saying that the country's garment exports are steadily on the rise, but mass fainting remains challenges for workers.
According to the 28th ILO-BFC report from November 2011-April 2012, Cambodian garment industry grew by 25 percent to 4.24 billion U.S. dollars in 2011 and the trend continued with an additional 17 percent rise in the first quarter of 2012; however, mass fainting is still a challenge for workers.
During the report period, the garment sector experienced 16 fainting incidents in nine factories, the report said, adding that the causes of accidents could be poor nutrition, excessive overtime, high heat levels, poor ventilation, and mass psychogenic illness (MPI).
The kingdom has some 320 factories employing 356,610 workers, with 90 percent of them women. According to the report, from November 2011-April 2012, the garment factories saw 27 strikes, involving 36,053 workers, doubling the number in the same period last year.
"Common reasons for strikes were calls for increased wages and benefits and allegations of union discrimination," it said.
Garment industry is the country's largest income maker. The minimum wage for a worker is 66 U.S. dollars a month.