Labour standards adhered to, says ATA

PETALING JAYA: An independent assessment of ATA IMS Bhd’s Johor Baru facilities has discovered that they adhered to both local and international labour standards.

According to a report by CGC-CIMB Research, ATA has appointed a company “which is one of the Big Four” to conduct an independent assessment of its governance and risk management on human rights and labour management practices against the International Labour Organisation’s 11 indicators of forced labour.

The assessment was conducted from March 9 to March 25. The independent assessment found that the facilities adhered to both local and international labour standards, four months after the allegations of labour issues has resulted in the withdrawal of ATA’s key client Dyson Ltd.

“The third-party independent assessment of ATA’s operations, which concluded on March 25, validated and confirmed that ATA’s activities are governed by human rights principles, laws and industry best practices and standards,” ATA said.

The research house said the audit findings should provide a reassurance to ATA’s existing and potential new customers of its adherence to international labour practices. There are, however, concerns over the lack of details in the audit findings.

The negative sentiment surrounding ATA should ease slightly but linger until the company is able to monetise its audit findings by securing new projects and customers.

The third party assessor felt that ATA should be aware of the three main areas for improvement such as providing education to the workers about its zero-cost recruitment fee policy, increasing the awareness on confidentiality of using the grievance channels, and providing education on occupational safety and health administration.

CGS-CIMB Research has raised its price/net tangible asset valuation to 0.7 times from 0.6 times to reflect ATA’s relatively stronger footing in its ability to secure new customers and projects.

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