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Charges Of Labour Abuse Faced In Malaysia By American Tyre Maker Goodyear

Charges Of Labour Abuse Faced In Malaysia By American Tyre Maker Goodyear
Allegations of unpaid wages, unlawful overtime and threatening of foreign workers at its Malaysian factory are being faced by the American tire manufacturer Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, showed court documents and complaints filed by workers according to a report published by the news agency Reuters.
Wrongful salary deductions, mandating workers to work excessive hours and denying workers full access to their passports were the allegations that were brought against Goodyear by six current and former foreign workers, and officials with Malaysia's labour department, according to the Reuters report.
Goodyear was slapped a fine by the department in 2020 for overworking and underpaying foreign employees, the department confirmed. The company illegally kept his passport, a former worker told Reuters which was returned to him by the company eight years after the worker had started to work at the company.
Three complaints, two in 2019 and one in 2020, were filed by 185 foreign workers against Goodyear over allegations that the company had not complied with a collective labour agreement. It was then that the current allegations against the first surfaced in the local media. In those charges, the workers alleged Goodyear had not given them shift allowances, annual bonuses and pay increases even though the company had given these to its local employees who are represented by a labour union.
Last year, the court ruling was in favour of the foreign workers as the court noted that the rights of the foreign workers were the same as those of the Malaysian employees, said reports based on copies of the judgement published on the court's website. According to the judgement and the workers' lawyer the court ordered the company to pay back wages and comply with the collective agreement.
Some of the migrant workers at the company were found to be working for as many as 229 hours a month in overtime which far exceeded the limit of 104 hours for overtime in Malaysia, reports had stated back them based on information from the payslips of about 150 worker were submitted to the court as evidence of unpaid wages.
The lawyer of the foreign workers Chandra Segaran Rajandran said that the workers are claiming about 5 million ringgit ($1.21 million) in unpaid wages. These workers are from Nepal, Myanmar and India.
"They are put in a situation where they are being denied their full rights as what is provided for (by law)," he said, adding that it amounted to "discrimination".
Both the verdicts have been challenged at the high court by Goodyear, one of the largest tire makers of the world. The appeal decision is expected on July 26. The court decision in the third case which was filed on the same issues is expected to be delivered in the coming weeks.
There were no comments of Goodyear in the report as the matter was in court but also denied the allegations.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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