Dyson dumps Malaysian supplier ATA over labour concerns
25 November 2021
High-tech home appliance maker Dyson Ltd told Reuters it had cut ties with supplier ATA IMS Bhd (ATAI.KL) following an audit of the Malaysian company's labour practices and allegations by a whistleblower, sending ATA shares plunging.
ATA, which is already being investigated by the United States over forced labour allegations, confirmed Dyson has terminated its contracts and that it has been in talks with its customer over the audit findings. It had previously denied allegations of labour abuse.
Dyson, privately owned by British billionaire James Dyson, said it received the results of an audit of working conditions at ATA in early October. It said it had also learned in September about allegations from a whistleblower about "unacceptable actions" by ATA staff and had commissioned a law firm to investigate those claims.
"Despite intense engagement over the past six weeks, we have not seen sufficient progress and have already removed some production lines," Singapore-headquartered Dyson said in response to questions from Reuters.
"We have now terminated our relationship with six months' of contractual notice. We hope this gives ATA the impetus to improve, and enables an orderly withdrawal in the interests of the workers that they employ."
ATA, in a statement to the national stock exchange on Thursday, said it had taken steps to engage Dyson and advisers after it was notified of the summary of the labour audit. It said it would look into the findings.
The company also said it will continue to manufacture and supply for Dyson until June 1, 2022, and that its board was looking into the validity of Dyson's termination notice.