One of the world’s largest tire makers, American manufacturer Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co is facing accusations of labour abuse, including unpaid wages, unlawful overtime and threats to foreign workers at its factory in Malaysia, CNA reports quoting court documents and complaints filed by workers.
Officials in Malaysia’s labour department along with six current and former foreign workers say Goodyear made wrongful salary deductions, required excessive hours and denied workers full access to their passports.
The allegations surfaced after 185 foreign workers filed three complaints against Goodyear Malaysia in the country’s industrial court, two in 2019 and one in 2020, over non-compliance with a collective labour agreement.
Goodyear was ordered to pay back wages and comply with the collective agreement after the court ruled in favour of the foreign workers in two of the cases last year, saying they were entitled to the same rights as Malaysian employees.
Goodyear has challenged both verdicts at the high court with the decision expected on July 26, while verdict for the third case is due in the coming weeks. The foreign workers from Nepal, Myanmar and India are claiming about 5 million ringgit ($1.21m) in unpaid wages.
According to the workers’ testimonies, the company was not giving them shift allowances, annual bonuses and pay increases even though these benefits were available to local staff represented by a labour union. On top of that, one former worker said the company illegally kept his passport for eight years after he started working at Goodyear.
Goodyear claims it has strong policies and practices relating to and protecting human rights.