SHAH ALAM, Malaysia—Top Glove Corp. has announced it is working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to address forced labor issues raised by the agency, but stressed that a withhold order on its products is bearing no financial impact on the group.
"Top Glove is presently working on addressing and fully remediating the identified issues expeditiously," the Malaysian glove maker said in an April 5 statement, adding that "to date, no disposable gloves have been seized pursuant to the withhold release order (WRO). There is also no financial and operational impact to the company based on current assessment."
The statement came in response to a March 29 CBP announcement which said it was extending an earlier WRO to all disposable gloves originating in Top Glove factories in Malaysia.
The agency had issued a withhold order in July last year on products from two of Top Glove's subsidiaries due to forced labor concerns.
In its most recent statement, CBP said it had "sufficient information to determine labor abuses" at the glove making group.
In response, Top Glove issued a clarification on April 1, saying "no new additional issue" has been identified in CBP's latest report.
"There is no new additional issue on forced labor being discovered or added. There are a few rectification and verification works required on the earlier findings," Top Glove said.
According to the Malaysian glove maker, CBP has requested Top Glove to carry out additional work in relation to the confiscation of employees' identity documents by recruitment agents.
This, Top Glove said, affects less than 1 percent of its workers.
The manufacturer is also to "remediate" for workers who did not manage to come to Malaysia to work due to COVID-19 related lockdowns.
Buoyed by soaring global demand' for gloves, Top Glove delivered a record quarter, posting a four-digit growth in profit after tax (profit) for the three months ended Feb. 28.
The Malaysian group saw revenue increase 336 percent year-on-year to $1.3 billion) for the second quarter of 2021 fiscal year, while profits soared 2,400 percent to $700 from $28 million reported in 2019.