Malaysia charges leading glove maker over workers housing condition


Malaysian authorities announced on Tuesday it has charged world leading glove maker Top Glove Corp ten counts of failing to provide minimum standards of worker accommodation.

The charges follow authorities’ investigations into worker accommodation and hostels at several Top Glove sites last November after a coronavirus outbreak at one of its factories near the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

If found guilty, Top Glove could be fined up to 50,000 ringgit (US$12,159.53) on each charge, a charge sheet showed.

State news agency Bernama earlier reported that ten of the company’s sites for foreign workers in the state of Perak were not certified by the labour department.

Top Glove, the world’s largest producer of medical gloves, confirmed that the case was in relation to a November inspection under legislation on minimum housing and amenities standards and said it has pleaded not guilty.

Court hearings on the case will resume on April 28, the company said.

Top Glove also said it has set out plans to improve the standard of the various types of accommodation the company provides for its workers.

The labour department declined to comment on a case still in progress.

That coronavirus outbreak at Top Glove’s accommodation grew into Malaysia’s largest cluster, with more than 5,000 workers testing positive.

Top Glove last week said that an independent consultant had found no indication of systemic forced labour at the company after it had taken measures to address U.S. concerns over working conditions. (Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation)