Top Gloves: Freezing Foreign Workers Will Lead To A Further Deterioration Of The Gloves Shortage

- Jul 14, 2020-

The new crown pandemic has led to a surge in global demand for rubber gloves. Malaysia's top companies, as the world's largest glove company, received a large number of orders. However, due to the current limited number of workers, it is difficult to meet the needs of gloves. Tan Sri Linwei, chairman and founder of Top Gloves, said: It is unrealistic to only hope that locals fill vacancies, which will reduce Malaysia's competitiveness. It can be seen that freezing foreign workers will further aggravate the shortage of gloves.


The Malaysian government will implement a recovery action control order from June 10 until August 31. During this period, all foreign nationals are prohibited from entering Malaysia. Any visa type includes electronic registration eNTRI, electronic visa eVISA, landing visa VOA, sticker Visa, Malaysia and approved visas do not allow entry and suspension of issuance.


According to the company, the lead time for completing glove orders is now more than one year, which means that if someone ordered a glove today, the goods will arrive at the destination one year later; before the pandemic, the delivery time is between 10 and 60 Between days. According to Lin Weicai, 2500 local employees were employed last year, which is part of the company's 19,000 employees worldwide. It is hoped that after the MCO ends on September 1, the government will open up (recruitment procedures) in order to reduce the shortage of workers.


The new crown pandemic has led to a surge in demand for gloves. Currently, the top glove companies are recruiting, but the current labor force is not enough to meet the demand for gloves.


Top Glove has been the subject of several news reports alleging violations of labor rights, including a recent news report on Channel 4 of the British TV channel, accusing the company of excessive overtime, illegal pay cuts and unethical recruitment practices. The company classified Channel 4's report as "highly inaccurate." Other rubber glove companies in Malaysia are facing similar scrutiny. Lin Weicai admitted that the company had made some mistakes and said that the company would do its best to correct the mistakes.


The top gloves rubber, latex and nitrile gloves are used in healthcare, food and beverage, and hygiene industries. The company also produces masks, condoms, sports belts, toothpaste and other health or wellness products. According to the company, its market share is 26%, and the annual production capacity of "top gloves" is 78.7 billion. Due to increased demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves during the coronavirus pandemic, the company recorded a profit of RM 575 million in May.


It is understood that top glove companies have invested billions of ringgits in automation to solve the shortage of foreign workers. It is expected that by the end of this year, this expansion will increase the existing 700 production lines by 42. However, it is currently not enough to speed up the delivery time to customers.


Coincidentally, not only do top glove companies want the government to develop recruitment procedures, but Malaysian palm oil plantations have also urged the government to return foreign workers. They warned that if they do not exempt from hiring, it will seriously damage the palm oil industry.