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Glove maker WRP denies restricting movements of its employees

The Edge logo The Edge 14/1/2020 Emir Zainul
a view of a city © Provided by The Edge

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 14): Newly-liquidated glove manufacturer WRP Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd has denied allegations that it had restricted the movements of its employees.

This comes as the workers from WRP's factory had previously gone on strike over delayed payments and for allegedly restricting their movements.

WRP's board of directors, in a statement today issued via its lawyer Matthew Thomas Philip, said it will commence investigations into the allegations.

"The board of directors of WRP Asia Pacific have not at any point in time, instructed or authorised any of their representatives to restrict the movement of employees.

"Since this morning, the board of directors and their representatives have been in the company's premises to settle the wages of some 2,000 of WRP's employees," the statement said.

The glove maker was in the news after its rubber gloves were banned by the US Customs and Border Protection agency on Sept 30 last year on purported grounds that they were made with forced labour.

Three months after the ban announcement, WRP suspended its operations with immediate effect citing financial constraints.

Earlier last year, WRP also made headlines after nearly 2,000 Nepali migrant workers staged a three-day strike claiming that they were not paid three months' worth of wages.

The Labour Department subsequently launched an investigation into the company and found that it had withheld the salaries of its workers, did not pay overtime, had made unfair pay cuts and had wrongful working hours during breaks and public holidays.

Interestingly, the company initiated legal action earlier this month against its former managing director and chief executive officer, Datuk Lee Son Hong, as part of efforts by its directors to revive its business.

The company claimed it was mismanaged by Lee, who refused to account to the board of directors as to WRP's state of affairs. It accused Lee of conspiring to wind up the company and there is presently an action in court for conspiracy to injure.

Additionally, the board of directors has also filed an action against Lee for criminal breach of trust involving RM8.4 million. On Nov 29, 2019, the board removed Lee as the MD and CEO.

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