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20 Dez 2020

Hannah Beech, The New York Times

A Company Made P.P.E. for the World. Now Its Workers Have the Virus

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20 December 2020


On Dec. 12, Mr. [Yam Narayan] Chaudhary, 29, died of Covid-19 complications [...] workers say the decision to check into a hospital depends on Top Glove management.


About 5,700 of Top Glove’s 11,215 employees in just one of its manufacturing complexes in Malaysia have tested positive for the coronavirus since November [...].


“Some challenges arise due to the surge of global demands on gloves considering the pandemic,” Top Glove said in a statement to The Times. “We have mitigation plans to address the challenges to ensure our employees can work in a safe working environment to deliver the lifesaving gloves to those who need it the most.”


“Top Glove is seriously embarking on corrective measures toward improving the accommodations of our workers nationwide,” the company said. “We have taken the lessons learned from the outbreak among our workers and are aware that there are areas that require better adherence for the safety and well-being of our workers and the communities we serve.”


As a quality assessor for Top Glove, Yubaraj Khadka [...] took a few photos on his phone of workers lining up for their shifts without adhering to social distancing. He passed the photos to labor activists, in contravention of Top Glove’s rules.

Mr. Khadka said his snapshots were responsible for his dismissal in September, after months during which Top Glove investigated whether he was the source of the leak and used CCTV footage to confirm their suspicions. When the company fired him, they confiscated his mobile phone and scoured it for photographs of the company, he said.

“The Top Glove management’s mentality is that migrant laborers are very low,” Mr. Khadka said. “If I could talk to the bosses, I would say, ‘Treat us better, like humans.’”

Top Glove would not comment on the specifics of Mr. Khadka’s case but said that “the worker left the company on the grounds of misconduct.”