FGV disappointed with CBP decision, says taking steps since 2015 to address issues

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 1): FGV Holdings Bhd (FGV) said that all issues raised (in an investigation into allegations it uses forced labour, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have been the subject of public discourse since 2015 and it has taken several steps to correct the situation.

Yesterday, the United States banned imports of palm oil from FGV following an investigation into allegations it uses forced labour.

In a statement today, FGV said its efforts are well documented and available in the public domain.

“FGV is disappointed that such decision has been made when FGV has been taking concrete steps over the past several years in demonstrating its commitment to respect human rights and to uphold labour standards,” it said.

FGV said various efforts have been carried out in honouring such commitment, including strengthening its procedures and processes in the recruitment of migrant workers.

FGV said it has also adopted its Guidelines and Procedures for the Responsible Recruitment of Migrant Workers in 2019 in accordance with international standards.

The company said it is committed to paying official costs associated with the recruitment of migrant workers, which include airfare and costs for work permit, visa, medical check-up and insurance, adding that it has also revised its contract with recruitment agencies to require them to ensure that no fees are charged on the workers.

FGV stressed it is not involved in any recruitment or employment of refugees.

“Effective 2020, FGV recruits its migrant workers mainly from India and Indonesia through legal channels and processes recognised and approved by the authorities of Malaysia and the source countries,” it said.

FGV said it does not practice the retention of its workers’ passports and has installed a total of 32,250 safety boxes throughout all its 68 complexes, as an option for migrant workers to keep their passports safely.

Meanwhile, in fulfilling the rights of workers to adequate housing, FGV said that over the past three years, it has invested approximately RM350 million to upgrade housing facilities for its workers by constructing new residences in our plantations all over the country.

“Since August 2019, FGV been communicating with CBP through our legal counsel and have submitted evidence of compliance of labour standards as committed by FGV.

“It will continue to engage with CBP to clear FGV’s name, and is determined to see through commitment to respect human rights and uphold labour standards,” it said.

FGV was last traded at RM1.15 yesterday.

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