Top Glove

Last updated

Top Glove Corporation Bhd
TypePublicly traded company
MYX: 7113
ISIN MYL7113OO003
Industry Rubber
Founded1991
Founder Lim Wee-Chai
Headquarters Setia Alam, Malaysia
Number of locations
47 (as at November 2020)
Key people
Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee-Chai, Executive Chairman

Dato Lee Kim Meow, Managing Director

Lim Cheong Guan, Executive Director
Products Rubber gloves
Number of employees
21,000
Website www.topglove.com

Top Glove Corporation Berhad is a Malaysian rubber glove manufacturer who also specialises in face masks, condoms, dental dams, and other products. [1] The company owns and operates 47 manufacturing facilities in Malaysia, Thailand, China, and Vietnam. It also has marketing offices in these countries (except Vietnam) as well as the United States, Germany, and Brazil. [2]

Contents

History

The company was founded in Malaysia in 1991 by Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai, with one production line and staff comprising 100 people. Wee Chai's parents are rubber plantation owners and traders. Top Glove has since become the world's largest manufacturer of gloves, commanding 26% of the world market share. [3] [4]

Top Glove was listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (now) Bursa Malaysia) in August 2001. [5] In the span of a year, Top Glove Corporation Bhd's listing was promoted from the Second Board to the Main Board on May 16, 2002. [6] [7]

On 28 June 2016, Top Glove was also listed at number 9 [8] on the Main Board of the Singapore Exchange. [7] [9]

In 2017, Top Glove announced that they would launch a new condom business in 2018 with a RM30 million (US$7 million) investment. [10]

At 19 March 2020, Top Glove had a shareholder fund of RM2.6 billion [11] and an annual turnover of about RM2.4 billion.[ citation needed ]

As of 18 February 2021, Top Glove has 765 production lines, 47 factories, [12] 195 countries of export and 2,000 customers. [11]

In April 2018, Top Glove concluded its acquisition of leading surgical glovemaker, Aspion Sdn Bhd, its biggest M&A to date, which would see Top Glove emerging as the world's largest surgical glove manufacturer. [13]

In April 2020, the company announced that it would manufacture face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [14] Due to rising demand for protective gear in response to COVID-19, Top Glove's profits had risen by 400% by mid-December 2020, with the company announcing a 20-times increase in quarterly net profit to RM 2.4 billion (US$590 million) [15]

In November 2020, the company donated a total of RM185 million to the government's COVID-19 fund set up to battle the pandemic. [16] At the same time, a COVID-19 cluster was emerging in from its plant in Meru which resulted to temporary closing of 28 factories by stages in that area. [17]

Entrance to Top Glove Tower Entrance to Top Glove Tower.jpg
Entrance to Top Glove Tower

Controversies

Labour controversies

In December 2018, The Guardian reported that migrant workers were being allegedly subjected to forced labour, forced overtime, debt bondage, withheld wages and passport confiscation. [18] The company has denied these allegations and claimed that it has since improved its labour initiatives, which include the introduction of a zero cost recruitment policy. [19]

An investigation by Channel 4 News in June 2020 found that staff were living in cramped conditions, paid £1.08 an hour, forced to work overtime to meet the demand for gloves during the COVID-19 pandemic, and could not adequately practice social distancing despite the company claiming appropriate measures were taken. [20] Workers, many of whom were migrants, also claimed they paid up to $5000 in recruitment fees to secure employment, leaving them in debt bondage. [21] Top Glove did not address any specific claims but called the investigation inaccurate. [22]

US Customs product sanction and detention

On 15 July 2020, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) placed a detention order on imports of products made by subsidiaries of Top Glove for labour issues over debt bondage of its foreign workers and poor housing. [23] [24] In response, Top Glove pledged to improve housing for their workers and remove the debt bondage of its workers in an effort to lift the ban. [25] [26]

COVID-19 pandemic

In mid-November 2020, several COVID-19 cases were detected in one of the Top Glove dormitories in Klang which has led to an enhanced movement control order being implemented in the surrounding area. [27] By 27 November 2020, more than 4000 cases were linked to the Top Glove dormitory cluster. [28] On 30 November, the EMCO at Top Glove's dormitories across Malaysia was extended until 14 December. [29] This forced the company to temporarily close a total of 28 factories in stages in the area. [30]

According to a Malay Mail report published on 13 December 2020, several South Asian migrant workers had told the Agence France-Press about "appalling" living conditions including cramped dormitories housing 25 people. These overcrowded conditions had contributed to the spread of COVID-19 within 28 of Top Glove's 41 factories. Malaysian authorities are planning legal action against the company for poor worker accommodation, which could result in heavy fines. In response to criticism and publicity, Top Glove announced plans to purchase more workers' accommodation and to build "mega-hostels" equipped with modern amenities that can house 7,300 people. [15] The same day, it was reported that Top Glove had fired a whistleblowing Nepalese migrant worker named Yubaraj Khadka for sharing photos of overcrowded working conditions, which were later picked up by Reuters. [31]

On 23 December 2020, Top Glove announced that it would no longer penalise whistleblowers and would establish three helplines for workers’ complaints. [32]

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References

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  2. "Our Locations". Top Glove. Archived from the original on 8 August 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  3. "#1613 Lim Wee Chai". Forbes. Archived from the original on 13 May 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
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