Malaysia: Medical and rubber glove manufacturers accused of labour abuses

Malaysian glove manufacturers have been accused of mistreating workers, allegedly subjecting migrant workers to forced labour, forced overtime, debt bondage, withheld wages and passport confiscation. The glove manufacturers, who supply medical and rubber gloves globally, have since come under scrutiny. The allegations have prompted an investigation by the United Kingdom, whose National Health Service uses medical gloves imported from Malaysian glove suppliers. 

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7 December 2018

Malaysia: Glovemaker vows to improve working conditions for migrant workers

Author: Beh Lih Yi, Reuters

"World's top glovemaker vows clean-up as migrant workers toil in Malaysia factories", 6 December 2018

Malaysian firm Top Glove, the world’s largest glovemaker, vowed... to clean up its labor supply chain and workplace practices after cases were uncovered of migrants toiling for long hours to pay off huge debts.

The firm, a major supplier of medical and rubber gloves to 195 countries including Britain and the United States, employs over 11,000 migrant workers, from countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and India.

At some of its factories outside the Malaysian capital, workers [said]... they often work long hours to earn overtime pay, and in some cases exceed the limit of overtime hours stipulated under local labor laws.

Workers... said they hoped to quickly repay loans... they took out to pay recruitment agents in their home countries... Top Glove is not alone in hiring migrants who pay agents to secure a job. The practice is common across all Malaysian sectors which hire workers from overseas.

Top Glove said it was not aware of its labor suppliers charging exorbitant fees to migrant workers but vowed to investigate and severe ties with unethical recruitment agents...

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