Top Glove vows action after labour rights expose

Migrant workers at Top Glove are said to work long hours to earn overtime to pay off debts to recruitment agents. (Bloomberg pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian company Top Glove Corp Bhd, the world’s top glove maker, said on Monday it would “continue to improve” its labour standards after a Thomson Reuters Foundation expose found some migrants working illegal overtime to pay off debts.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation revealed on Thursday that migrant workers at the firm often work long hours to earn overtime pay to clear debts to recruitment agents back home, and in some cases exceed the legal overtime limit.

Speaking at a press conference in Malaysia, Top Glove’s executive chairman and founder Lim Wee Chai said “only a small number” of workers had done excessive overtime.

“We do our part, we do it correctly, we have no pressure, we still can sleep very well tonight,” he said at a Top Glove factory in Klang, Selangor.

“We will continue to do good, if there is any feedback, anything no good, we will continue to improve.”

Britain’s health ministry said it would investigate standards at Top Glove – which makes rubber gloves sold to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) – after being presented with the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s findings last week.

Lim said Top Glove had not received any inquiries or complaint from the British authorities.

Top Glove’s share price fell 5.9% on Monday – to RM5.55 – following the expose on the links between the company and Britain’s health service which was
published on Sunday.

“The share price… is temporary, up or down is temporary,” Lim added.

The company, which produces one in every four pairs of rubber gloves used in the world, said last week it would cut ties with unethical recruitment agents, and that it has introduced changes this year to ensure workers get adequate
rest.