Top Glove Halts Production After 2,453 Employees Test Positive For Covid-19
Major PPE supplier Top Glove has a problem on its hands. Of the 5,800 employees on staff 2,453 of them tested positive for Covid-19. PPE nitrile gloves are already at a shortage and this will imspact the shortage even more as Top Glove has temporarily closed its production plants.
The Malaysian company stated that it will suspend production in 16 of its production plants while allowing 12 production plants to operate at a reduced capacity. The plant is expecting its reduced capacity to hinder the transmission of the deadly virus. Malaysia is the largest producer of nitrile gloves and is already expecting a shortage for at least the next 3 years.
As a result of the recent news company stock dropped 7.4%. The Malaysian Health Ministry reported a spike in Covid-19 cases where the employee dormitories are located. They are closely monitoring the situation as it develops.
Overall working conditions of Top Gloves plants are also in question as many migrants from Bangladesh and Nepal have complained about being overworked. Many employees have reported that they are working up to 72 hours a week. Overworked and stressed employees are more likely to have a vulnerable immune system. The CBP (Customs Border Patrol) have already placed a suspension on imports from Top Glove after reports of forced labor and poor working conditions.
At this time Top Glove has about 26% of the overall nitrile glove market share. They produce approximately 90 billion gloves annually across China, Vietnam, Thailand and its country of origin Malaysia. A 48% increase of production could mean there is a global shortage of nitrile gloves at least through 2022.