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Goodyear faces labor allegations in Malaysia

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (Goodyear.N), an American tire maker, is facing allegations of missed wages. illegal overtime and threats to foreign workers at factories in Malaysia. according to court documents and complaints filed by workers

In an interview with Reuters Six former and current workers and staff of the Malaysian Labor Department It said Goodyear had incorrectly made payroll deductions. It takes too much time to work. and does not allow workers to have full access to their passports.

The agency confirmed it had fined Goodyear in 2020 for being overworked and underpaid for foreign workers. One former employee said the company had illegally kept passports. by showing Reuters a letter of acceptance he signed in January 2020. Eight years after he began working at Goodyear,

The allegations, which Reuters was the first to report. The first came when 1

85 foreign workers filed three complaints against Goodyear Malaysia in the country’s industrial court. Two times in 2019 and one in 2020 due to non-compliance with the collective labor agreement. The workers accused the company of failing to provide shift allowances, annual bonuses and wage increases. Although these benefits are available to local employees representing the union,

The court ruled in favor of foreign workers in these two cases last year. stating that they have the same rights as Malaysian workers. According to a copy of the judgment published on the court’s website. Goodyear was ordered to pay back wages and to comply with a collective agreement according to the judgment and the workers’ attorneys.

Salary slips for about 150 employees, which lawyers say have been filed with the court as evidence they have not been paid and have been reviewed by Reuters. It found that some migrants work up to 229 hours of overtime per month. which exceeds the Malaysian limit of 104 hours

Their lawyer, Chandra Segaran Rajaran, said: Foreign workers demand unpaid wages of about 5 million ringgit ($1.21 million). The workers come from Nepal, Myanmar and India.

“They are placed in a situation where they are denied all rights as required by law,” he said, adding that the act was “an act of terrorism”. “Discrimination”

Goodyear is one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world. has challenged the verdicts of the two High Courts. An appeal decision is expected on July 26. A verdict for a third case on the same issue is due in the coming weeks.

Goodyear declined to comment on any of the allegations, citing court proceedings. In a court decision last year, Goodyear Malaysia argued that foreign workers do not benefit from the collective agreement because they are not union members.

According to the ruling, union representatives testified that foreign workers have the right to participate and be entitled to benefits in the collective agreement even if they are not members. The court agreed that the scope of work of migrant workers was entitled to those benefits.

Goodyear told Reuters it has strict policies and practices regarding and protecting human rights.

“We use any allegations about inappropriate behavior involving employees performance and our supply chain very seriously,” one representative said in an email.

The union – the national union of workers on companies that make rubber products – did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on the workers’ complaints.

Goodyear’s Malaysia operations are owned by the country’s largest fund manager, Permodalan Nasional Berhad, who referred Goodyear to Goodyear.

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fines and violations

The workers said they faced threats from Goodyear after they filed a lawsuit. Goodyear declined to comment.

“The company has different rules for different groups of workers,” said Sharan Kumar Rai, who filed the lawsuit and worked at Goodyear in Malaysia from 2012 to last year.

The migrant workers filed their first two lawsuits in July 2019, shortly thereafter, Goodyear asked someone to sign a letter without the lawyer’s knowledge. to withdraw from legal proceedings According to a police indictment filed in October 2019 and a copy of the letter seen by Reuters. Reporting a complaint to the police does not always result in criminal charges. But it can cause investigations.

Anna Ng Fui Choo, chairman of the Industrial Court, said in her verdict that the letter “It’s an act of unfair labor.”

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Malaysia’s Labor Department told Reuters it had investigated and charged Goodyear in 2020 of nine labor law violations unrelated to the lawsuit. About Excessive Working Hours and Wrong Payroll Deductions The company fined Goodyear 41,500 ringgit (10,050) US dollars.

in the past few years Malaysia faces allegations from the Department of Human Resources and US agencies. on labor violations in their factories It relies on millions of migrant workers to produce everything from palm oil. medical gloves and iPhone components

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