Tuesday, March 28

Malaysia’s VS Industry hires PwC Consulting to review labor practices

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KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian manufacturer VS Industry Bhd has appointed PwC Consulting to independently review its labor practices for migrant workers, it said on Friday.

Malaysian makers of items from medical gloves to palm oil have increasingly drawn scrutiny over accusations that they abuse foreign workers, who form a significant part of the manufacturing workforce.

VS Industry, a provider of electronics manufacturing services, said the third-party review would be based on 11 indicators of forced labor set out by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

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“The scope of PwC Consulting’s appointment also extends to providing a workshop to (the) board and management to increase knowledge and awareness of forced labor issues and risk management,” it said in a stock exchange filing.

PwC Consulting declined to comment.

In December, Malaysia charged the firm’s rival, ATA IMS , which supplies British high-end home appliance maker Dyson, with four violations of labor law on workers’ accommodation.

ATA had asked for the charges to be dropped, saying any infractions were caused by “challenges presented during the pandemic.”

Dyson had terminated contracts with ATA after an independent audit of its labor practices and accusations by a whistleblower.

ATA has acknowledged some violations https://www.reuters.com/article/malaysia-labor-dyson-ata-ims-idUSL4N2SS2PM, made some improvements https://www.reuters.com/article/malaysia-labor-dyson- ata-ims-idUSL4N2SS2PM and said it now complies with all regulations and standards.

VS Industry said the review aims to identify, understand and close the gaps specifically for labor practices under a government-initiated worker recalibration program, and would be supported by an independent labor rights consultant.

The Malaysian government program allows employers in industries such as construction, manufacturing, plantation, agriculture and services to legally employ undocumented foreign workers or holders of expired long-term visit passes. (Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and David Evans)