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7 Jan 2021

Responsible Investor

Investors BlackRock, NBIM and CalSTRS vote against Top Glove directors after quarter of workforce reportedly contract COVID-19

"Blackrock and NBIM target directors at Top Glove over worker safeguarding", 6 January 2021

Two of the world’s biggest investors, Blackrock and Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), have voted against the directors of one of the globe’s largest manufacturers of Personal Protective Equipment after more than a quarter of its workforce reportedly contracted Covid-19.

At today’s annual meeting for Top Glove, the pair voted against all directors up for reelection.

Californian public pension fund CalSTRS voted against the six directors, but - unlike Blackrock and NBIM - supported the retention of Independent Director Lim Han Boon...

In November, it was reported that worker dormitories at the company had become the site of Malaysia’s largest Covid-19 outbreak. Blackrock reports in its voting bulletin that more than 5,000 of Top Glove workers (25% of the workforce) have been infected, with one reported fatality...

Blackrock states in its voting bulletin that the conditions revealed by whistleblowers and investigations by US and Malaysian government agencies are a “stark contrast to what the board has conveyed to shareholders”...

NBIM did not publish its reasons for voting against the directors.