Workers Sue Over Labour Abuse
For a number of years ACRATH in collaboration with St Vincent’s Health Australia has been advocating about the use of forced labour in Malaysian rubber glove factories. A group of 13 Bangladeshi workers who had been trafficked to Malaysia to work in a disposable rubber glove manufacuring plant owned by the Brightway Group are now taking Ansell and Kimberley Clark to the US Federal Court. In doing so they are representing not only themselves but also thousands of other workers who, like them, were subjected to the same systematic trafficking and forced labor scheme that the Brightway Group utilized to staff its facilities.
The migrant workers had been promised safe, well-paying jobs but when they arrived in Malaysia this was not the case. Each worker’s passport was seized, restricting their ability to leave the premises and country. They were forced to work 12-hour shifts with few or no rest days. They were constantly subjected to physical and verbal abuse by their supervisors; they were beaten, yelled at, threatened, and prohibited from accessing medical care.
The workers are seeking compensation as their human rights were violated. They are demanding full reimbursement of the recruitment fess they were compelled to pay and damages for all they endured as victims of human trafficking and forced labour.
The lawsuit was filed by International Rights Advocates (IRA) on behalf of the workers. A copy of the IRA media release can be accessed here.
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