Malaysia's Top Glove charged with providing poor housing for workers

Malaysia's Top Glove charged with providing poor housing for workers

FILE PHOTO: A worker works at a production line in Top Glove factory in Shah Alam
FILE PHOTO: A worker works at a production line in Top Glove factory in Shah Alam, Malaysia August 26, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng/File Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian glove manufacturer Top Glove Corp Bhd was charged on Tuesday (Mar 16) with failing to provide worker accommodation meeting the minimum housing and amenities standards set out by the country's Labour Department, state news agency Bernama reported. 

Top Glove, the world's largest medical glove maker, was charged by the Sessions Court in the city of Ipoh with 10 counts of having failed to meet those requirements, the news agency said. 

According to the charges, 10 of Top Glove's foreign worker accommodations in the state of Perak did not receive certification from the Labour Department.

The company pleaded not guilty to all charges and court proceedings will resume on Apr 28, Bernama reported.

READ: From record sales to government probe, 2020 an eventful year for Malaysia's Top Glove

Top Glove could be fined up to RM50,000 (US$12,000) per charge, a charge sheet showed.

Top Glove was not immediately available for comment.

The Labour Department, part of the Ministry of Human Resources, launched investigations into worker accommodation and hostels at several Top Glove units in November last year after a COVID-19 outbreak at a Top Glove factory in an industrial area near the capital Kuala Lumpur.

READ: Businesses and residents near Top Glove dormitories on edge, as COVID-19 cases spike among workers

The outbreak became the largest cluster in Malaysia, with more than 5,000 workers having tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Labour Department had recommended filing charges after opening 19 probes.

Independent consultant, Impactt, said last week it "no longer" found any indication of systemic forced labour at Top Glove, and that the manufacturer was making progress on some indicators including living conditions.

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Source: Reuters

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