Top Glove has been in the news a lot lately for all the wrong reasons, especially in these past few weeks. Just recently the workers’ dormitories were exposed to be deplorable conditions and not maintained properly. Even the Human Resources Minister spoke about this matter. While the claims about the conditions about the dormitories have been refuted by Top Glove CEO, Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai, who said the company has spent millions on new apartments, new beds and more.
But prior to that, Top Glove received negative spotlight after Malaysia recorded the highest daily cases. This was because the rise in cases was linked to the Teratai Cluster that originated from Top Glove’s workers’ dormitories. As a result of this, the Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri announced that the National Security Council has agreed that 28 Top Glove factories in Klang will be shut down in stages for the workers to be tested and undergo the mandatory quarantine period.
But here’s the biggest question, are they actually following the orders?
After we published the report on the announcement of the closure of the 28 factories, World of Buzz received several tips over the last three days from individuals who claimed to be factory employees of Top Glove.
On 24 November, we received an email from one such individual who said that despite being told to shut down, the management informed them otherwise.
” Today morning our management said there is no closure for any factories, they close the production only and they run their packaging and container loading silently.”
When contacted the employee said “We also have family and we are scared to come work. If we take leave means they will hold our salary, so we hope action will be taken,” he said.
However, the employee updated us the next day (25 November) saying that there was supposedly a raid that was conducted by the Ministry of Health that morning and another shutdown notice was issued to all the factories.
Later that day (25 November), we received several other messages from a couple of other employees with screenshots of messages from the Top Glove management. The employee said that the Top Glove CEO allegedly questioned why so many people were even swab-tested in the first place.
In the above screenshot, we were told that “TS” refers to Tan Sri who allegedly did not believe the test results which resulted in so many positive cases. He even questioned the lab staffs to which the workers’ swab tests were sent to.
“The lab manager already told TS to conduct the tests earlier but he didn’t listen. Now when there are so many cases, TS said why test so many people, if they were NOT tested, there wouldn’t have been so many positive cases.”
In another message that was shared with us, a superior was saying to his employee to make sure the public or the reporters don’t see any Top Glove factories operating as usual. The superior then inform the employee to padlock the gates and make sure the staff cars are not parked inside the factory.
“Just make the factory look closed!”
Speaking to World of Buzz, the employee said that workers from the closed factories are sent to the operating factories to do work. Even after the employees have been swab tested, they are asked to come to work with their pink wristbands. The Head of Human Resources, initially, did not even inform them that the Teratai Cluster originated from Top Glove workers.
After the announcement was made that Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) would be enforced in Top Glove workers’ dormitories, some factory workers were asked to hide inside but they were sent away for swab tests after they developed some symptoms, the employee told us.
To fill this gap, workers were made to run the production line which is when some of them got infected and went into quarantine. Supposedly, all of the other workers were supposed to be quarantined but apparently, Top Glove has their own definition of “close contact”.
When we questioned further about this definition, we were told that “in Top Glove, only the employee who was in the same closed office with the infected for more than 15 minutes is considered close contact” whereas, for most other companies, when one staff is infected, the whole office would be advised to quarantine themselves and get swab-tested.
“Most of the staffs are just afraid of their bosses!”
We further asked how are the workers doing their work despite their dangerous conditions. The employee said that while some workers are doing it just for their salaries, some have been brainwashed. If they are not willing to come to work, they are forced to use up their annual leaves.
When the cases hiked up, the production line was stopped but all workers were required to come to work following their normal shifts. The employee added that even basic face mask SOPs were not being followed as workers were asked to reuse their masks by drying it under the sun. This was before the cases rose, now, however, they provide two masks a day.
World of Buzz has reached out to Top Glove for a comment on this issue. The management requested some time to investigate the matter and will be providing us with a response when they’re able to.
It’s disappointing to see big corporations still putting their profits above the safety of their employees. What would it take for this company to stop their production line even if it’s just for a week?
Disclaimer: All screenshots and information above were provided by individuals who claimed to be current Top Glove employees who reached out to World of Buzz for help. Their identity has been kept anonymous for privacy and safety reasons.
Also read: Top Glove Called Out Again For Unsanitary & Terrible Conditions in Quarantine Centres For Foreign Workers