U.S. tyre maker Goodyear faces allegations of labour abuse in Malaysia, documents present

  • Overseas staff sued corporation three periods in 2019, 2020
  • Courtroom 2 times ruled in favour of staff, mentioned they ended up owed again wages
  • Ruling in 3rd lawsuit because of in coming months
  • Labour division fined Goodyear for 9 unrelated violations in 2020

KUALA LUMPUR, May perhaps 31 (Reuters) – American tire company Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (GT.O) is going through accusations of unpaid wages, illegal additional time and threats to international employees at its Malaysian manufacturing facility, according to courtroom files and complaints submitted by employees.

In interviews with Reuters, six existing and former overseas workers, and officials with Malaysia’s labour section, say Goodyear designed wrongful salary deductions, expected excessive hours and denied staff full obtain to their passports.

The office verified it experienced fined Goodyear in 2020 for overworking and underpaying foreign staff. 1 former worker mentioned the company illegally kept his passport, showing Reuters an acknowledgement letter he signed in January 2020 on receiving it back again 8 years right after he started off performing at Goodyear.

The allegations, which Reuters is the initially to report, to begin with surfaced when 185 international staff submitted three complaints from Goodyear Malaysia in the country’s industrial court, two in 2019 and one in 2020, about non-compliance with a collective labour settlement. The workers alleged the enterprise was not providing them change allowances, annual bonuses and fork out improves even however these advantages have been accessible to the regional team, who are represented by a labour union.

The court dominated in favour of the foreign staff in two of the conditions last yr, expressing they had been entitled to the same legal rights as Malaysian workforce, in accordance to copies of the judgement posted on the court’s web page. Goodyear was ordered to fork out back again wages and comply with the collective agreement, in accordance to the judgement and the workers’ attorney.

About 150 worker payslips, which the lawyer explained have been submitted to the court docket as evidence of unpaid wages and reviewed by Reuters, confirmed some migrants operating as several as 229 several hours a month in additional time, exceeding the Malaysian limit of 104 several hours.

The overseas employees are declaring about 5 million ringgit ($1.21 million) in unpaid wages, reported their lawyer, Chandra Segaran Rajandran. The employees are from Nepal, Myanmar and India.

“They are set in a problem where by they are staying denied their complete legal rights as what is offered for (by legislation),” he reported, including that it amounted to “discrimination”.

Goodyear, a person of the world’s largest tire makers, has challenged the two verdicts at the substantial court docket. The charm final decision is anticipated on July 26. The verdict for the third situation, in excess of the same issues, is thanks in the coming months.

Goodyear declined to comment on any of the allegations, citing the court docket procedure. In accordance to the court ruling final calendar year, Goodyear Malaysia argued that foreign staff are not entitled to the positive aspects of the collective agreement since they are not union associates.

In accordance to the ruling, a union consultant testified that foreign employees are suitable to join and are entitled to the positive aspects in the collective arrangement even if they are not associates. The court docket agreed that the overseas workers’ job scope entitled them to those added benefits.

Goodyear instructed Reuters it has strong insurance policies and methods relating to and preserving human rights.

“We acquire critically any allegations of incorrect conduct relating to our associates, operations and offer chain,” a consultant stated in an e-mail.

The union – the Nationwide Union of Personnel in Firms Production Rubber Merchandise – did not answer to Reuters’ requests for comment on the workers’ complaints.

Goodyear’s Malaysia operation is jointly owned by the country’s major fund supervisor, Permodalan Nasional Berhad, which directed queries to Goodyear.


Employees reported they faced intimidation from Goodyear just after they filed the lawsuits. Goodyear declined to remark.

“The enterprise experienced unique principles for distinct sets of workers,” explained Sharan Kumar Rai, who filed one of the lawsuits and labored at Goodyear in Malaysia from 2012 until finally last 12 months.

The overseas staff submitted the 1st two lawsuits in July 2019. Shortly afterward, Goodyear asked some to signal letters, with no their lawyer’s understanding, that they would withdraw from the authorized action, according to their attorney, police complaints filed in Oct 2019 and a duplicate of the letter noticed by Reuters. Reporting a grievance to law enforcement does not usually result in prison charges but can result in an investigation.

Industrial courtroom chairman Anna Ng Fui Choo mentioned in her ruling that the letter “was an act of unfair labour follow”.

Malaysia’s labour section explained to Reuters it experienced investigated and charged Goodyear in 2020 around 9 violations of labour legislation, unrelated to the lawsuits, concerning too much several hours and wrongful salary deductions. It fined Goodyear 41,500 ringgit ($10,050), it said.

Malaysia has in new yrs confronted accusations from its personal Human Sources Ministry and authorities in the United States of labour abuse at its factories, which count on millions of migrant staff to manufacture almost everything from palm oil to clinical gloves and Iphone parts.

($1 = 4.1255 ringgit)

Reporting by Mei Mei Chu and A. Ananthalakshmi. Modifying by Gerry Doyle

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