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Ex-workers at Malaysia's Brightway sue Kimberly-Clark, Ansell over alleged labour abuse

·1 min read

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Migrant workers at Malaysian glove maker Brightway Holdings filed a lawsuit in the United States against Kimberly-Clark Corp and Ansell Ltd , accusing them of "knowingly profiting" from the alleged use of forced labour at the supplier, according to the complaint seen by Reuters.

In the suit, filed late on Tuesday in the United States, 13 former workers claim damages from U.S. personal care company Kimberly-Clark and Australian personal protective equipment supplier Ansell in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.

The complaint says public reports on Brightway and other Malaysian glove makers, and violations found by labour audits, were evidence of the two companies' knowledge of the alleged abuses.

Kimberly Clark did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of regular U.S. business hours.

Ansell and Brightway said they did not have an immediate comment.

The United States banned Brightway products from entering the country in December 2021 over suspected forced labour practices, saying it had found 10 of 11 International Labour Organization indicators of forced labour. (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi. Editing by Gerry Doyle)