Malaysian glove maker pays off migrant workers after US Customs ban


Malaysian company Top Glove Corporation, the world’s largest medical glove maker, said it had begun making remediation payments to migrant workers who were employed by the company before 2019, putting in place ethical recruitment practices.

Last month the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) placed a detention order on imports from two of Top Glove’s subsidiaries suspecting it of using forced labour.

The United States is a major market for medical gloves, which have seen huge demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Top Glove said in a stock exchange statement that it had made the first remediation payment of 4.4 million ringgit (US$1 million).

“The total remediation fee to be paid is estimated at 53 million ringgit, subject to finalisation with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP),” it said, adding that it “continues to actively engage with the US CBP towards resolving the Withhold Release Order (WRO) expeditiously”.

It had earlier said it had made progress in engagement with the CBP and hoped to resolve the matter this month.

Foreign workers are often charged a fee by employment agents to land jobs in Malaysia, a debt they then work to pay off.

Smaller rival Hartalega Holdings Bhd earlier said that from the fourth quarter it will reimburse up to a total of 40 million ringgit in recruitment fees previously paid by migrant workers to employment agents.

Another rival Supermax Corporation Bhd said its net profit for the quarter ended Jun 30 had risen from 15.06 million ringgit to 399.62 million ringgit.

It said this was its “best quarterly financial performance” and had been driven by an exponential rise in demand for gloves and an increase in production capacity, which it plans to almost double by the end of 2022. (Source: CNA)