Malaysia's Top Glove factory raided, no evidence of forced labour found: Human resources ministry

Top Glove said it has continuously upheld good labour practices. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysian authorities found no evidence of forced labour at a factory of world's largest glove maker Top Glove Corporation following a raid last week, the human resources ministry said on Tuesday (July 21).

Two units of Top Glove - which is dual-listed in Malaysia and Singapore - were last week barred by United States Customs, citing forced labour issues, and the company said it would engage with US authorities to work towards a speedy resolution.

The ministry said the raid was carried out two days before the US decision.

It found that the company had flouted movement control orders such as social distancing at the workplace and had cramped accommodation for workers.

"(The ministry) is aware that the impact of the US Customs detention order will affect the credibility and image of the country internationally and influence foreign investor confidence following the allegations of forced labour," it said.

It said it has met with Top Glove and the country's rubber glove association to understand the action taken against Top Glove.

The ministry warned employers from all sectors to abide by labour laws relating to the conditions their workers were kept in.

In a separate statement, Top Glove said it has continuously upheld good labour practices and complied with requirements of labour laws and best practices.

To further dispel allegations of forced labour, the company said it was accorded an "A" rating in a social audit conducted in May by a global business association for open and sustainable trade, Amfori.

"The recent Amfori audit and earlier third-party audits which garnered good ratings, provide independent verification that there is no element of forced labour in our manufacturing facilities," human resources general manager William Yap said.

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