Top Glove to refund RM50 mil in recruitment fees to its foreign workers

Top Glove hopes to resolve its problem with US Customs and the lifting of the import ban in a month’s time. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Top Glove Corp Bhd will refund up to RM50 million in backdated recruitment fees to its foreign workers in the hope the US will lift the ban on the import of its rubber gloves.

Lim Wee Chai, its executive chairman, said they were currently communicating with US’ Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and that the matter would be resolved in a month.

Lim said they had already set in place new policies following forced labour allegations, including the “zero recruitment fee” policy for new foreign workers,

“Before this, we never agreed to pay the recruitment fees,” he said, adding that the CBP was “one-sided” in deciding on the import ban.

Lim Wee Chai

“We hope the US Customs can understand us better now. Negotiations have progressed very well, and in August, hopefully we can settle. Once we solve it, it should be ok,” he said, adding that the US was mainly concerned about the agent recruitment fees paid by the workers.

On July 15, the CBP enforced a detention order on disposable gloves manufactured by Top Glove’s subsidiaries, Top Glove Sdn Bhd and TG Medical Sdn Bhd, due to suspected foreign labour issues.

Meanwhile, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the government would send a report on the forced labour issue to the US as part of its commitment to address the allegations.