Dyson is reportedly cutting ties with ATA IMS, one of Malaysia's top providers of electronics manufacturing services, which supplies the UK firm with spare parts for vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, over labor-abuse allegations.
The step came after several current and former employees along with an ATA former executive alleged that the company used to hire mostly migrants who were forced to work up to 15 hours a day and to skip rest days to keep up with demand. Moreover, ATA reportedly coached its staff to hide real working and living conditions from Dyson and labour inspectors.
The UK company's biggest global contract manufacturer, ATA IMS employed thousands of foreigners without work permits, the unnamed whistleblowers said in interviews with Reuters over the last two months.
In November, the world-famous producer of high-end household appliances announced plans to pull its business from ATA within a matter of months.
The decision came after the latest independent audit and after allegations by an unidentified whistleblower disclosed poor living conditions, concerns of retaliation and unpaid allowances.
ATA reportedly described the findings as "non-conclusive," and pledged to review them. The Malaysian producer also said it was audited by the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), an audit consultancy widely engaged by electronics firms. RBA commonly hires third-party inspectors.Shares in
ATA IMS, which reportedly gets 80% of its revenue from the home-appliance maker, have dropped nearly two-thirds since the Dyson announcement.
Moreover, Malaysian Human Resources Minister Saravanan Murugan said on December 1 that the Labour Department had opened a probe into ATA practices after receiving complaints, but added that no actions had yet been taken against the company.
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