BMI defends award to Top Glove, stands by methodology and standard practices

AMID backlash on social media, Business Media International (BMI) stated that it decided to award glove maker, Top Glove Corporation Bhd (Top Glove) using a time-tested methodology and standard practices.

“Top Glove was chosen based on the ratings submitted by its employees in October last year to BMI, via the Total Engagement Assessment Model (TEAM) survey.

“It covers areas such as the Company’s commitment to workplace diversity, employees’ access to learner-centric learning and development programmes.

“We also covered other aspects like work culture, workplace sentiments, intra-company communications and employee engagement, among others – all of which make the award entirely employee-driven,” BMI assistant general manager Tan Yong Keat told FocusM.

On Monday, the New Straits Times reported that BMI is awarding Top Glove as one of HR Asia’s Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2020 (Malaysia), for the fifth time in a row.

The award is said to have attracted applications from Fortune 500 companies as well as other multinational corporations and government-linked companies (GLCs).

However, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) started seizing the company’s glove products the very next day, after Top Glove was found engaging in forced labour practices.

The CPB Office of Trade – after consulting its Treasury Secretary – published forced labour findings report yesterday against disposable gloves produced by Top Glove in the Customs Bulletin and in the Federal Register.

“We have sufficient information to believe that Top Glove uses forced labour in the production of disposable gloves. Merchandise covered by the forced labour finding is subject to seizure upon arrival at a US port of entry.

“The findings is the result of a months-long CBP investigation aimed at preventing goods made by modern slavery from entering US commerce,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of the CBP Commissioner Troy Miller.

Subsequently, Top Glove told FocusM that an independent audit on the establishment found no evidence of forced labour practices there.

“The Company has submitted a report, dated March 16, prepared by independent international UK consultant, Impactt Limited (Impactt), to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for review, as well as having taken all the necessary measures required by the CBP to ensure all concerns are addressed.

“Since July last year, Top Glove has engaged Impactt to advise on measures to improve policies and practices.

“Impactt itself issued a statement on March 9, stating they found no systemic forced labour across the eleven International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Indicators in our operations,” it was reported saying.

On the CBP action, Tan said: “It’s appropriate to refer the question to Top Glove.” – Apr 3, 2021

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