WHILE Business Media International (BMI) awarded Top Glove Corporation Bhd (Top Glove) as one of HR Asia Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2020 (Malaysia), the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) started seizing the company’s glove products after it 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 finding 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.
“We will not tolerate foreign companies’ exploitation of vulnerable workers to sell cheap, unethically-made goods to American consumers.”
CBP acting executive assistant commissioner for trade John Leonard said CBP has taken the necessary steps to ensure the targetted action against Top Glove would not impact on total US imports of disposable gloves.
“We continue to work with our interagency partners to ensure that the personal protective equipment (PPE), medical devices and pharmaceuticals needed for the COVID-19 response are cleared for entry as expeditiously as possible while verifying that those goods are authorised and safe for use,” he added.
The latest finding expands upon a Withhold Release Order (WRO) that CBP issued in July last year.
The WRO then was based on reasonable but inconclusive information that multiple forced labour indicators exist in Top Glove’s production process, including debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions, and retention of identity documents.
Earlier yesterday, 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 attract applications from Fortune 500 companies as well as other multinational corporations and government-linked companies (GLCs). – March 30, 2021.