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A woman sits at a bus stop outside Goodyear factory in Shah Alam, Malaysia May 6, 2021.
REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

American tire manufacturer Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (GT.O) 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.
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, according to copies of the judgement
published on the court's website. Goodyear was ordered to pay back wages and comply with the
collective agreement, according to the judgement and the workers' lawyer.
About 150 worker payslips, which the lawyer said were submitted to the court as evidence of
unpaid wages and reviewed by Reuters, showed some migrants working as many as 229 hours a
month in overtime, exceeding the Malaysian limit of 104 hours.
The foreign workers are claiming about 5 million ringgit ($1.21 million) in unpaid wages, said
their lawyer, Chandra Segaran Rajandran. The 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".
Goodyear, one of the world's largest tire makers, has challenged both verdicts at the high court.
The appeal decision is expected on July 26. The verdict for the third case, over the same issues,
is due in the coming weeks.

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