November 5, 2021

America Blocks Malaysian Firms Again Due to Allegations of Forced Labor

 The United States (US) Customs and Border Protection (GST) authorities have banned imports from Malaysian rubber glove manufacturing firm Smart Glove on allegations of forced labor.

According to a source from GST dated Nov 4, the decision was made on the allegation of reasonable evidence showing the rubber glove manufacturing firm used forced labor.

GST said their investigation found that 7 of the 11 indicators set by the International Labor Organization (ILO) had been violated by Smart Glove but they did not specify which one.

Among the indicators listed by the ILO are excessive working hours, debt bondage, physical and sexual violence, violence in the workplace and residence.

Smart Glove has not yet provided any further details on the issue.

Factories in Malaysia, especially in the manufacturing sector of Apple iPhone gloves and components, are under strict pressure and scrutiny by the ILO on issues of human rights violations and abuse of foreign workers.

The ban order saw the firm be the fifth from Malaysia to be banned in 15 months.

Earlier, the US had banned Supermax Corp Bhd on similar charges. In addition, Top Glove Corp Bhd also faced similar charges in July before the ban was lifted last month after the firm resolved their labor issue.

Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and FGV Holdings Bhd were also banned by GST last year until they appointed auditors to assess their actions and they will continue to liaise directly with GST in dealing with the problems that arise.