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Malaysia’s FGV to “Clear Its Name” After US’ Palm Oil Import Ban on Company

October 1, 2020, 08.10 PM

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Many of the problems detailed by the US CBP office mirrored those found by The AP.

This included restriction of movement, isolation, physical and sexual violence, intimidation and threats, retention of identity documents, withholding of wages, debt bondage, abusive working and living conditions, excessive overtime, and concerns about potential forced child labor.

FGV said Thursday it wasn’t involved in any recruitment or employment of refugees. It said it doesn't hire contract workers.

Migrant workers are recruited mainly from India and Indonesia through legal channels, it said. It said it ensures workers are not forced to pay any fees.

Read also: Covid-19 Crisis Takes a Toll on Mental Health of Singapore’s Migrant Workers

As of August, FGV had 11,286 Indonesian workers and 4,683 Indian workers, who combined form the majority of its plantation workforce.

The company said it is introducing the use of an electronic wallet cashless payroll system for its workers.

It doesn't retain workers’ passports and has safety boxes throughout all its 68 housing complexes for them to keep their passports safely.

Read also: Man Involved in Deadly Human Smuggling Case of Vietnamese Victims Plead Guilty

FGV said it has invested 350 million ringgit ($84 million) over the past three years in upgrading worker housing and provides medical benefits.

Suppliers and vendors are required to comply with the company's code of conduct, it said.

“FGV does not tolerate any form of human rights infringements or criminal offense in its operations," it said, adding it will act on any allegation of physical or sexual violence or intimidation.

FGV said it has submitted evidence of compliance with labor standards to the US CBP office since last year.

It said it will continue its engagement “to clear FGV’s name and is determined to see through its commitment to respect human rights and uphold labor standards."

(Writer & Editor: Eileen Ng) 


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