| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

Malaysia police to look into claim ATA whistleblower beaten by police

Malaysian police stated on Saturday that they will investigate a report that a manufacturing worker from Dyson supplier ATA IMS Bhd was attacked at their station, but that no official complaints had been received.

Dyson, a British home appliance manufacturer, informed Reuters that it was terminating its contract with ATA following an examination of the company’s labor standards and charges made by a whistleblower.

Former ATA employee Dhan Kumar Limbu told Reuters on Thursday that ATA officials took him to a police station in June, where he was questioned for sharing information about workplace conditions with activists and then assaulted by police.

The police department in the southern Johor state, where ATA’s factory is located, said it has not received any reports on the matter.

“Johor police takes note of the issue that was reported and will conduct an investigation if what was reported exists,” it said in a statement on Facebook.

ATA said on Friday it had appointed consultants to review findings of forced labor in an audit summary it received from Dyson and claims of physical abuse raised by a former worker.

The manufacturer said it had hired a law firm in Malaysia to conduct an independent review of the allegations of physical abuse by the former worker, and a detailed report would be finalized soon.

Malaysia’s human resources minister said the ministry will investigate Dyson’s decision to sever ties with ATA IMS.

In interviews with Reuters, seven current and former ATA employees said they had worked overtime in excess of limits under Malaysian law and paid recruitment fees in their home countries to labor brokers, a practice activists have criticized as a form of debt bondage.

Dyson contributes around 80% of ATA’s revenue. Shares in ATA, which makes parts for Dyson’s vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, have plunged 55% since the Reuters report.

  • Reuters