Shocking footage shows overworked staff collapse and have seizures making PPE for NHS
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Overworked staff collapse … as they make protective gear destined for NHS hospitals.
Video footage revealed others having seizures on factory floors – and in squalid hostels where workers are forced to stay.
Up to 30 migrant workers at Top Glove factories in Malaysia have been cramped into filthy rooms as they supposedly shield during a partial shutdown due to Covid outbreaks there.
Top Glove is banned by US authorities because of historic labour rights claims.
But the firm’s gloves have been supplied to NHS hospitals during the pandemic.
Workers have been filmed collapsing and suffering from seizures at the factory in Malaysia
(Image: Lee Sorrell Media)
'I could only touch my little Max in a mask, apron and gloves for two months'
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At least 17 Top Glove workers were tested positive for the virus at the start of the month and admitted to hospital but now are believed to be part of a wider cluster of infections totalling more than 200.
Around 5,700, a quarter of the company’s workforce, are in quarantine in Meru, an industrial hub west of the capital Kuala Lumpur.
The staff, mainly migrants from countries such as Nepal and Bangladesh, are holed up in company-run hostels or have been moved to cheap hotels.
A worker collapses in the factory
(Image: Lee Sorrell Media)
During the first wave of Covid-19, cramped hostels were blamed for the spread of the virus in Malaysia and neighbouring Singapore.
Footage shows workers collapsing and appearing to have fits on the factory floor and in their hostels.
One worker said: “The workers at Top Glove are very scared about the situation.
“Workers are suffering from flus and fevers and there has been an increase in epileptic fits and fainting.
“I feel like the company has no concern for us, even if it’s not suitable for us to continue work.”
A worker inspects newly-made gloves at Top Glove factory
Top Glove has been at centre of a series of scandals about labour conditions at the company, where migrant workers toil six days per work for just over £1 an hour.
Andy Hall, a migrant workers’ rights campaigner, said: “Top Glove workers complain daily about the lack of social distancing at their factories and worker accommodation.
“I have relayed these concerns continually to Top Glove management but there has not been any response.”
Top Glove produces around 74 billion medical and industrial gloves each year, accounting for a quarter of the global market.
Clients include NHS suppliers and a host of other UK companies.
US Customs has banned imports from Top Glove following allegations of forced labour that were revealed earlier this year.
However UK companies, including at least one contract supplier to the NHS, have continued to do business with the controversial firm.
Top Glove has invested cash to improve its hostel accommodation for workers after new housing laws were introduced in Malaysia.
The company also recently announced a £23m package to repay migrant workers who had paid hefty recruitment fees to unscrupulous agents in their home countries to secure jobs at their factories.
In a statement, Top Glove said: “Our factories in Meru, Klang continue to operate with reduced capacity and workers not under ECMO [Enforced Control Movement Order] are working under strict standard operating procedures in alignment with guidelines from the Department of Health.”