Investigation – Forced labor: US bans Malaysian gloves

Investigation – Forced labor: US bans Malaysian gloves
Investigation – Forced labor: US bans Malaysian gloves

Posted21 October 2021, 09:34

A Malaysian-based company that exports gloves violates labor laws, research finds. The American authorities now refuse to work with her.

A Top Glove factory in Kuala Lumpur, previously banned from trading with the United States, also for reasons of forced labor. This ban was lifted last September.


The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Wednesday banned the importation of Supermax gloves, after an investigation revealed signs of forced labor at the Malaysian company’s factories.

“CBP has sufficient evidence to conclude that Supermax (…) and its subsidiaries are producing gloves in violation of US commercial law,” said AnnMarie R. Highsmith, agency manager.

“Until Supermax and its subsidiaries can prove that their manufacturing processes are free from forced labor, their goods are not welcome here,” she added.

The agency did not give more details on suspected forced labor at the company, which exports to more than 160 countries and can produce up to 24 billion gloves a year.

Stuck in the factory

But according to migrant rights activist Andy Hall, who investigated Supermax, the workers’ complaints concern the inability to leave the factory grounds, poor living conditions and illegal deductions from wages.

Andy Hall hoped the US decision would bring about “a rapid change in the abusive living and working conditions facing company workers in Malaysia.”

Supermax did not respond to a request for comment.

Its shares fell more than 10% in afternoon trading on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

Malaysian glove makers, whose business exploded during the coronavirus pandemic, typically employ workers from Southeast Asia.

The United States also banned imports from the world’s largest manufacturer of protective gloves, the Malaysian company Top Glove, at the start of the year over allegations of forced labor, but the ban was lifted in September.

Two palm oil companies, Sime Darby Plantation and FGV Holdings, were also hit by U.S. import bans in 2020 for similar reasons.



Investigation Forced labor bans Malaysian gloves

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