Malaysia has charged a supplier for world-famous vacuum cleaner producer Dyson with violations of labor law on accommodation for workers amid an ongoing probe over forced labor complaints, authorities said on Saturday.
Malaysia-based ATA IMS, which provides Dyson with parts for its vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, was recently accused of inadequate labor practices.
“The complaints were mainly on allegations of appalling working and living conditions and foreign workers being forced to work excessive overtime hours,” Malaysia’s labor department told Reuters in an email. It noted, however, that it was “too early to make any conclusion on the allegations.”
Acting on these claims, the department inspected the firm several times this year and has now issued four charges against it for violations of minimum standards for worker accommodation. Dyson said last month it was parting ways with ATA and planning to scrap its contract within the next six months.
Earlier media reports state that ATA’s mostly migrant employees worked more than the monthly legal limit of 104 hours, and had to work on Sundays. The company, however, claims that all overtime was voluntary and employees were paid extra for it: double for Sunday shifts and triple for work on public holidays. It recently said it banned overtime on Sundays after the probe was launched, which led to the resignations of some 300 workers in the first week of December.
Also, one of the former ATA workers recently alleged he suffered abuse at the hands of police after they questioned him about sharing information on working conditions in the company with activists. ATA said the worker’s claims were “unlikely to have taken place.” However, the investigation is ongoing.
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