KLANG: The Human Resources Ministry has shot down a foreign news report’s claims that foreign workers of world-renowned glove makers, Top Glove Corp Berhad, are being exploited.
Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said claims that the foreign workers were being forced to work beyond the stipulated overtime limit were false. He said the ministry’s observations showed that the company’s more than 10,000 workers were working longer hours on their own accord in order to gain more income.
“I was contacted by reporters from the United Kingdom and Australia last Friday, but I was unable to issue any statements as I needed to investigate the claims first to find out the true picture.
“The ministry’s observations at almost all Top Glove factories in Klang and Ipoh found that they (foreign workers) were willingly working overtime as they wanted to earn more pay.
“There is however no denying that some foreign workers are working beyond the set hours as stipulated in the Employees Act 1955. We will take action and the Top Glove management is giving their full cooperation to overcome this,” he said in denying the news report.
Kulasegaran was speaking to reporters after visiting the company’s factory at the Meru Timur industrial area here on Monday.
Also present was Peninsular Malaysia Manpower Department director-general Datuk Mohd Jeffrey Joakim, and Top Glove executive chairman Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai.
NSTP had reported that Top Glove Corp Bhd shares took a dive on Monday following reports that its workers were being exploited.
Shares of the world’s largest glove-makers went down 5.93 per cent, or 33 sen, to RM5.57 with 1.2 million shares being traded.
This followed a foreign news report which claimed that the company had exploited its foreign workers, including by forcing them to work in excess of 160 hours a month, beyond the permitted 104 hours of overtime set by the law.
The report claimed that the workers were being subjected to forced labour and had been saddled with debt, on top of haivng their wages held back and passports seized.
Kulasegaran said the ministry has yet to receive any feedback from British authorities on the matter.
‘We welcome any investigation which involves government-to-government dealings,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lim said the company strenuously denied reports that the company had raked in one billion pounds (RM5.29 billion) in profit last year, when the actual figure is 80 million pounds or around RM450 million.
“We are disappointed with the foreign report, which was irresponsible, especially with regards to the issue of workers being allegedly oppressed.
“If they need deeper clarification, they are welcome here to this country to conduct an investigation,” he said.