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Artikel

22 Nov 2019

Autor*in:
Peter Bengsten, The Diplomat

Malaysia: Major rubber glove exporters linked to forced labour allegations; Includes company comments

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"Clean Gloves, Dirty Practices: Debt Bondage in Malaysia's Rubber Glove Industry", 22 November 2019

On October 1... [the USA] announced an import ban on WRP’s gloves due to “evidence of multiple indicators of forced labor.” Previous media investigations of WRP found migrant workers subjected to passport confiscations, illegal withholding of pay, restricted freedom of movement, and more... Malaysia['s]... glove industry is the world’s biggest, supplying over half of the world’s annual demand of 300 billion rubber gloves... 

At YTY Industries... [workers] said they have worked over two years with no free access to their passports. YTY Group published an extensive statement online, saying that it does “not hold the passports of any foreign workers other than for routine processing matters.” YTY said “we absorb 100% of any recruitment fees in Malaysia...” However, all the interviewees said they had not been reimbursed for recruitment costs. YTY also said it was tightening recruitment procedures...

Workers from Supermax and Hartalega NGC, two major glove exporters, mentioned fees up to $4,800 for agents and said it takes years to pay off money lenders’ high-rate loans...

Workers from Supermax facilities... said that passport retention for years was the norm until October, when Supermax started returning passports to workers. They work 12 hours per day, for up to 30 days without a rest day, and have to apply if they want more than one monthly off day, or else face wage deductions...

Supermax said in a statement that “All of the Supermax Group’s manufacturing facilities operate strictly in accordance with Malaysian Labor Law.”...

Hartalega said... it previously had a centralized facility for passport lockers where workers had “full and free access to their passports 24/7 without any restriction. In recent months... all workers keep their own passports at their personal lockable cabinets in their respective dorms.”...

Part of the following stories

Malaysia: Medical & rubber glove manufacturers accused of subjecting migrant workers to forced labour & withholding wages

Malaysia: Medical glove manufacturers see surge in orders due to COVID-19, amid forced labour concerns