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14 Feb 2022

Leigh Day

Dyson accused of forced labour and dangerous conditions by migrant workers in Malaysian factory

The claimants all worked at a factory owned by ATA Industrial, in Johor, Malaysia where many Dyson products were made…

They allege in their legal case that they all had their passports retained for the duration of their employment, making it impossible to find other work so they were trapped working at the ATA factory. Many lived in unsanitary and overcrowded living conditions…

The minimum daily shift for the claimants was for 12 hours but they argue in their legal claim that all were forced to work overtime with shifts as long as 18 hours….

The workers say they were told by ATA Industrial that their work visas would be taken care of but some of them were allowed to lapse, resulting in the workers being in the country illegally…Three of the claimants were arrested, spending between 14 and 24 days in jail, where they allege they were beaten by the guards…

Recruitment fees, poor living conditions, passport retention, excessive hours, enforced overtime, and restrictions on movement are all clear indicators of forced labour as defined by the International Labour Organisation.

On 25 November 2021 it was reported that Dyson had ended its contract with ATA Industrial due to audit findings. However, the former workers allege in their legal case that Dyson had known about the unlawful conditions since at least November 2019 when they were notified by whistle blower Andy Hall.