Malaysia to charge Dyson supplier ATA over labour complaints

KUALA LUMPUR (CNA) – Malaysia will charge Dyson supplier ATA IMS Bhd following complaints received by the labour department, a minister said, after forced labour allegations emerged against the manufacturer.

Dyson told media last week it was cutting ties with ATA in six months following an audit of the Malaysian company’s labour practices and allegations by a whistleblower.

ATA, which gets 80 per cent of its revenue from the home appliance maker, reiterated this week it took the accusations seriously and that findings from a labour audit were inconclusive. It has previously denied the forced labour allegations.

Human Resources Minister M Saravanan told Parliament the ministry, through the labour department, had taken action and opened investigation papers into ATA previously after receiving complaints. “We had given them a compound notice but it has yet to be paid, therefore we will charge them in court,” Saravanan said in Parliament on Tuesday.

Saravanan did not say what complaints the labour department had received or specify the charges.

The ministry did not immediately reply to follow-up questions from media on what the charges and complaints were about.

ATA, which makes parts for Dyson’ vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, did not have an immediate comment.

Saravanan said last week Malaysia was investigating Dyson’s decision to terminate the ATA contract.

ATA’s shares have dropped nearly two-thirds since the Dyson announcement.

Dyson hair dryer on display. PHOTO: AFP