Response to AP news article
Singapore, 20 November 2020 – Regarding a news article published by the Associated Press (AP) dated 18 November 2020, Musim Mas would like to state that it has a long-standing zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse, in its operations and its supply base. We believe that all people have a right to live their lives free from sexual violence and any abuse of power regardless of age, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or ethnic origin. We expect our suppliers to uphold the same standards.
As a member of the Palm Oil Innovation Group and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), we are committed to going beyond the legal requirements and being transparent about our policies, current operations, and future work plan. Our policies and practices are aligned with the Free and Fair Labor in Palm Oil Production Principles.
In our operations, all employees are hired and promoted based on their competency, capability, and experience regardless of gender, race, nationality, religion, age, or union affiliation. All are provided equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender. Women make up 27% of the 22,552 employees at our plantations and mills. Permanent employees make up 96% of the division’s workforce, reducing their risk of vulnerability.
We regularly train employees at all levels on our no discrimination policy and standard operating procedures. We strive to promote gender equality and support women’s inclusion across all operations, implementing measures securing the return to work after maternity leave and facilitating breastfeeding. We also regularly engage with working mothers to collect feedback on meeting their needs.
There are dedicated Gender Committees to address any human rights or equality concerns at each site, focusing on women and children. Part of their role is to help eliminate gender-related discrimination, promote discussion of gender-related issues, and educate our workforce and communities on equality policies, sexual assault, and domestic violence.
Gender Committees also handle gender discrimination and harassment complaints. Cases can be lodged either through grievance procedures or raised based on information collected during regular visits and awareness sessions at workers’ housing complexes. The committees’ role is to investigate, resolve, and document the grievance process in confidentiality. If a case is criminal, or a complainant opts to resolve the issue through legal proceedings, the committee members will provide the necessary support.
We will continue to work with our employees and other stakeholders to address the situation of vulnerability of some workers. We encourage victims and witnesses to report violations of the nature mentioned in the article, within our operations, and in our supply base.