BEIJING: China is expected to report today that economic growth cooled to its slowest in 28 years in 2018 amid weakening domestic demand and bruising US tariffs, adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more support measures to avert a sharper slowdown. Growing signs of weakness in China – which has generated nearly a third […]
BEIJING, Jan 20 — China is expected to report tomorrow that economic growth cooled to its slowest in 28 years in 2018 amid weakening domestic demand and bruising US tariffs, adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more support measures to avert a…
DONGGUAN/HONG KONG: Wang Zhishen was thrilled when Danish shipper AP Moller-Maersk gave him two months’ paid leave, relishing the chance to spend time with his wife and daughters in China’s remote northwestern Gansu province. But his euphoria over what he thought was an unexpected bonus quickly turned to despair when Maersk fired Wang on January […]
KUALA LUMPUR: Top Glove Corporation Bhd has denied allegations made by foreign news reports accusing it of forced labour, excessive overtime, debt bondage and passport confiscation. In a statement yesterday, Top Glove said the company has abided by the Malaysian labour law and implemented strict measures to ensure that the overtime undertaken by its workers […]
PETALING JAYA: Top Glove Bhd has clarified that the company was not contacted by the UK newspaper “The Guardian” and was not given the opportunity to comment on the forced labour allegations in the latter’s article.
Top Glove said this in a statement today, in response to the newspaper’s article on December 9 and allegation that the company declined to comment on this matter.
Recently, The Guardian in its report claimed that the company oppressed thousands of workers including forcing them to work overtime exceeding 160 hours a month, which was more than the 104 hours overtime stipulated under the Employment Act 1955.
According to the report, the company’s foreign workers were turned into forced labour by working forced overtime, faced debt problems, were confined and their passports seized.
Top Glove stressed that it has now implemented strict measures to ensure that the overtime undertaken by its workers does not exceed the maximum limit permitted under the law.
“There is absolutely no forced labour at Top Glove. The Minister of Human Resources directed his officials to conduct random checks at our factory premises in a few locations last week and paid an impromptu visit to Top Glove’s factories on the December 10.
“He has also clarified that there is no element of forced labour, forced overtime and debt bondage at Top Glove,” it added.
However, the group said it was surprised to learn that a Nepalese worker was prevented from going to church to attend Sunday service, noting that all the while, the group allows its workers the freedom to practice their religion.
Additionally, Top Glove said the company has never confiscated its migrant workers’ passports.
“In the interest of safeguarding these important documents, their passports are kept in a passport safekeeping room with individual lockers, to which workers have free access anytime,” it said.
On the alleged mental breakdown or mental torture of its workers, Top Glove said that it was not aware of any cases of its workers experiencing such distress.
Top Glove stressed that its employee’s well-being is the company’s’ foremost priority and it has many health initiatives and measures in place to ensure they are well taken care of in this area.
“We view seriously the allegations made in the article as they gravely undermine the good reputation of Top Glove. We really appreciate that you take cognizance of our explanation and correct the facts accordingly,” it added.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) said it is closely monitoring the issue of foreign workers being charged exorbitant agent’s fee and its members will not hesitate to terminate any recruitment agencies found to be involved in unfair labour recruitment practices.
In the wake of allegation of mistreatment of migrant workers which rocked the glove making industry, Margma expressed its concern on issues brought up in recent media reports and emphasised that it cares about the welfare of all foreign workers employed by its member companies.
Meanwhile, Margma noted that there are foreign workers who are required to pay agent’s fees in their home country to come and work in Malaysia. Margma clarified that its member companies are not involved in the setting of, or in any dealings on these fees.
“We have been made aware of cases where some foreign workers were charged excessive agent’s fees to come and work in Malaysia, and we are monitoring this matter seriously all the time. Our member companies would not hesitate to terminate the services of any recruitment agencies if they are found to be involved in unfair labour recruitment practices including imposing huge fees to any foreign workers,” it said.
The agents and the recruitment processes are determined by both the Malaysian and the government of the workers country of origin.
It said while it understands that many foreign workers in Malaysia request for overtime work to increase their income, Margma does not allow any foreign workers under the employment of its member companies to work excessive hours and must be provided with at least one off day a week and on public holidays, in accordance with Malaysian laws regarding overtime work.
On passports, it said it has provided proper and safe facilities within the factory premises for safekeeping of workers’ passports and other valuables. The workers are given free access to these items whenever they want.
Margma said that major multinational and big corporations who are major purchasers of gloves carry out periodic comprehensive social responsibility audits on companies which they conduct business with.
“Without our member companies passing these social responsibility audit, the major multinational and big corporations will not buy medical gloves from us,” it said.
KUCHING: Analysts such as AmInvestment Bank Bhd (AmInvestment Bank) were unperturbed by labour issues surrounding Top Glove Corporation Bhd (Top Glove), believing that the world’s largest glovemaker had adequately addressed the issues raised in its announcement to Bursa Malaysia. This comes after the Thompson Reuters Foundation found that some Top Glove workers clocked in more […]
PETALING JAYA: AmInvestment Bank remains unperturbed by the investigation in the UK on Top Glove Corp Bhd’s alleged mistreatment of migrant workers and has maintained its “buy” call on the stock.
“We are unperturbed by the latest development. We believe the company has adequately ad-dressed the issues raised in its announcement to Bursa Malaysia on Monday,” it said in its report.
Today, Top Glove shares re-bounded as much as 19 sen or 3.4% to RM5.74 before closing 1 sen or 0.2% lower at RM5.54 with 13.66 million shares traded.
Presently, Top Glove has some 13,000 foreign workers under its employment which make up almost 80% of its total labour force. The company pays the foreign labour at least the minimum wage of RM1,000, excluding additional allowance and overtime (OT) pay.
“We believe the implementation of the new measures to prevent illegal OT hours will ease the concerns any stakeholders might have with regards to the legality of its labour practices,” said Am-Investment Bank.
It noted that the UK is a small market for Top Glove, contributing only 2-3% of its FY17 turnover.
“We understand that Top Glove has complied with the requirement for a third-party certification for sales to Europe which involves the engagement between the buyers and external auditors to ensure that the product meets certain environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards,” it added.
AmInvestment Bank continues to like Top Glove for its expansionary plans; focus and continual efforts in improving quality and operational efficiency and its position as the largest rubber glove manufacturer, and has maintained its “buy” call on the stock with an unchanged fair value of RM6.52 per share.
To recap, a recent report by Thomson Reuters Foundation said there was mistreatment of migrant workers by Top Glove, which led the UK to launch a probe on the firm regarding allegations of in-fringement of labour rights practices.
However, the group clarified on Monday that it does not practise forced OT and denied having any involvement with the recruitment costs that are charged by foreign agents to the workers at the source country.
To mitigate the issue of high recruitment fees, Top Glove plans to engage with the embassies of the labour source countries and re-quest for their urgent action.
On the issue of OT, the company said it is continuously putting in measures to prevent OT of more than 104 hours per month and these are expected to be fully implemented by the end of this month.
PETALING JAYA: Top Glove Corp Bhd has denied mistreatment of its workers, saying that there is absolutely no forced overtime (OT) on its migrant workers.
“Measure to prevent OT in excess of the allowed 104 hours a month have been implemented on a staggered basis across all Top Glove factories between March 2018 and November 2018,” it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.
The company said it has progressively invested in more automation for factory operations to reduce the need for manual labour and introduced new changing shift patterns to allow sufficient rest time for workers.
It also regularly conducts training to improve worker efficiency and quality of work.
“By December 2018, workers will not be working in excess of the 104-hour limit as permitted by the labour law,” it added.
Top Glove was responding to a British media report claiming that migrant workers at the firm are subjected to forced labour, forced overtime and debt bondage.
Top Glove said it provides accommodation for its workers, equipped with necessities and facilities while regular recreational activities are organised for workers’ well-being.
Personal protective equipment such as helmets, specialised gloves, ear plugs, masks, goggles according to requirements of the job is provided to workers in the factory. Transportation to and from the workplace is also provided to workers.
“Going forward, Top Glove will continuously improve the working environment of the workers as the well-being of the company’s employees at large continues to be Top Glove’s foremost priority,” it said.
The company also denied deducting worker salaries to pay for recruitment fee on behalf of the agent and that it bears the processing cost in Malaysia comprising levy, visa stamping, medical examination and others.
It said that it will engage with the embassies of the labour source countries to request urgent action on the issue of high recruitment fees.