American tire manufacturer Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co is facing accusations of unpaid wages, unlawful overtime and threats to foreign workers at its Malaysian factory, according to court documents and complaints filed by workers.
In interviews with Reuters, six current and former foreign workers, and officials with Malaysia’s labour department, say Goodyear made wrongful salary deductions, required excessive hours and denied workers full access to their passports.
The department confirmed it had fined Goodyear in 2020 for overworking and underpaying foreign employees. One former worker said the company illegally kept his passport, showing Reuters an acknowledgement letter he signed in January 2020 upon getting it back eight years after he started working at Goodyear.
The allegations, which Reuters is the first to report, initially surfaced when 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. The workers alleged the company was not giving them shift allowances, annual bonuses and pay increases even though these benefits were available to the local staff, who are represented by a labour union.