KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — Top Glove Corporation Berhad repeated today its commitment to work with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), after a shipment of approximately RM2.8 million’s worth of its latex gloves were seized by the authorities.
In a statement today, Top Glove stressed that it had provided the CBP— on April 22 — a report on how it supposedly resolved all 11 International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) indicators of forced labour within its operations.
It highlighted that the resolution of the 11 ILO indicators was verified by independent UK-based ethical trade consultant, Impactt Ltd.
Impactt previously said the ILO’s forced labour guidelines stated that “Force labourers may be subjected to actual physical or sexual violence so as to have greater control over them”.
“It is Impactt’s opinion that the instances of physical and sexual violence at Top Glove are not related to the company gaining ‘greater control over workers’, therefore these instances, although concerning, are not indicative of systemc forced labour,” added the consultant.
Yesterday, the CBP issued a statement that the RM2.8 million’s worth — accounting for 4.68 million pieces of latex gloves — shipment was confiscated in the Port of Kansas, Missouri, after alleging that the products were produced under forced labour.
That was the second such seizure in a week, as the CBP on May 5 had taken into custody RM2.13 million’s worth of disposable gloves, also produced by Top Glove over similar indications that they were produced under forced labour.
On March 29, the CBP issued a directive to all enforcement personnel at US entry ports, to begin confiscating disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by Top Glove.
The CBP said this was based on evidence of multiple “forced labour indicators” within Top Glove’s production process — such as debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions along with retention of identity documentation.
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