KUALA LUMPUR (March 31): FGV Holdings Bhd continues to enhance its labour practices to address the Withhold Release Order (WRO) issued by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Sept 30, 2020 against palm oil and palm oil products made by FGV and its subsidiaries and joint ventures.
FGV placed utmost importance on efforts towards the revocation of the WRO and has adopted a holistic approach to resolve applicable findings of the CBP, it said.
In a statement today, FGV said as part of this effort, the group continues to work with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to improve structures and systems for the enhancement of its labour practices including by aligning policies and codes with international standards.
“In November 2020, FGV adopted its revised Group Sustainability Policy (GSP) in which provisions on labour were strengthened based on the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct.
“FGV is also further strengthening its procedures for the recruitment of migrant workers and will be adding a pre-sourcing assessment to the selection process of recruitment agencies,” it said.
In February and March this year, it said the FLA had conducted a second validation exercise to assess FGV’s progress in implementing its action plan under the FLA affiliation and the progress report is due to be published by the FLA on March 31, 2021.
However, FGV noted it has had discussions with the FLA on the contents of the report and notes the gaps highlighted by the FLA on some aspects including FGV’s grievance mechanism, remediation procedures and worker representation structures.
“We will continue to work with the FLA to institutionalise mechanisms to address these gaps, and to further strengthen and enhance our labour practices,” it said.
To complement these efforts, the group said it has also established a Foreign Workers Working Committee (FWWC), to look into areas for continuous improvement especially on upgrading infrastructures on the ground to ensure that the welfare of workers are fully taken care of.
“For example, in addition to the RM350 million invested to construct 319 blocks of new workers’ housing over the past three years, FGV is allocating additional funds amounting to RM43 million in 2021 to further enhance facilities for its workers.
“These include refurbishing the older housing in 169 plantations and upgrading equipment to ensure uninterrupted electricity and water supply, particularly in areas that do not have access to the national power grid and state-provided water supply,” it said.