Kuala Lumpur (awp / dpa) – UK home appliance maker Dyson on Thursday announced it was breaking with a Malaysian supplier amid the findings of an audit into alleged mistreatment of its workforce.
The group of inventor James Dyson said it had requested an audit of the practices of the Malaysian group ATA IMS and in view of the findings, which were not disclosed, to have requested immediate action.
The group had also been informed by a whistleblower of “unacceptable acts” committed by ATA staff and asked a lawyer cabinat to investigate. Despite “intense discussions” with ATA, “we haven’t seen enough progress,” Dyson said.
“We ended our relationship with six months’ contractual notice,” said a spokesperson for the group known for its bagless vacuum cleaners.
At the same time, a migrant rights activist filed a complaint against Malaysian society with US authorities over alleged cases of forced labor, unethical recruitment practices and inadequate working and living conditions.
This is not the first controversy affecting a society in the Southeast Asian country where millions of migrant workers are employed in industry, agriculture and construction with low wages and for some in inhuman working conditions. .
US authorities have banned several latex glove manufacturers and Malaysian palm oil producers from exports to the United States over concerns over workers’ working conditions.
Shares of ATA Group, which makes a variety of devices ranging from air purifiers to lamps, plunged nearly 30% on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange after the announcement.
The company said it follows “international standards” for dealing with its foreign workforce and has been in discussions with Dyson over its audit.
About half of ATA’s roughly 8,000 employees are foreigners, according to data released by the company.
Migrant workers in Malaysia most often come from Nepal or Bangladesh.
afp / jh