Malaysia to charge Dyson supplier ATA over labour complaints: Minister

Dyson said last week it was cutting ties with ATA in six months. PHOTO: REUTERS

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

Dyson told Reuters 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 whistle-blower.

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

It had 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," Mr Saravanan said in Parliament on Tuesday.

Mr Saravanan did not say what complaints the Labour Department had received nor specify the charges.

The ministry did not immediately reply to follow-up questions from Reuters 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.

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

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

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