30 January 2021 / 12:01

DESPITE receiving brickbats from both local and foreign media, glove maker Top Glove Corporation Bhd (Top Glove) said that it will continue to do its best to comply with all regulations involving its migrant workers’ welfare.

This was the glove maker’s promise, during a virtual courtesy call with the High Commissioner for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Md Golam Sarwar, and Labour Counsellor for the Embassy of Nepal, Deepak Dhakal yesterday.

“Top Glove’s resounding global success is largely credited to our 21,000 committed employees who work hard and work well as a team, to ensure the company continues to deliver a strong performance, guided by a good and healthy corporate culture.

“Last year was an eventful time as we have achieved many new milestones, including recognition for our continued strong financial performance; good practices in the economic, environmental, social and governance (EESG) space, as well as in terms of our human resources and talent management,” it said, in a statement.

Top Glove has been receiving negative publicity over the months on allegations of flouting Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446), where its migrant workforce was found living in squalid conditions.

The glove factory also suffered a COVID-19 outbreak at some of its factories, prompting the Government to impose the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) on several of its premises to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM) is the midst of filing charges against Top Glove in the court anytime soon.

Lessons learnt; improvements underway

Touching on the matter, Top Glove said that they have learned valuable lessons from the cases last year and is looking at the matter positively, as means to learn and improve themselves.

To support its argument, Top Glove said that it was investing about RM195 mil to purchase and build new workers’ hostels, with full facilities and amenities, from 2021 to 2023.

“We had previously invested RM70 mil in more than 100 double-storey houses and hostels with full facilities. Plus, we also spent RM20 mil in the past two months purchasing 100 units of apartments for employees and renting additional houses and apartments.

“Plus, we have also relocated 2,000 of our employees to Westlite-PKNS accommodations in Kelana Jaya, the closest facility that suits its needs at this time.

“There, we have provided a host of facilities for our workers, including a canteen with three different caterers, spacious and airy recreational areas, a minimart, self-service laundry, game room, and prayer room,” it added.

Golam and Deepak were also given a virtual tour of Top Glove Tower and its facilities, and were presented videos of the company’s enhanced COVID-19 preventive measures and its housing upgrade initiative, as well as a video featuring interviews with some of its foreign workforce.

On a related matter, Golam said he was satisfied with Top Glove’s progress towards improving workers accommodation and facilities in general.

“We continuously engage with our people here in Malaysia and believe a constructive dialogue will result in good outcome for all,” he said.

Deepak added: “Malaysia is one of favourite destinations for Nepalese to work. Despite concerns on workers’ living conditions, we are pleased that Top Glove is doing its best to uplift the living and working conditions of its workers.” – Jan 30, 2021.

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