Migrant Workers Win Back Wages In Dispute With Goodyear
Goodyear Malaysia said that the migrant workers did not have legal standing to file the complaint as they were not union members.KUALA LUMPUR: In a ruling that could have wide ramifications for the rights of migrant workers, the industrial court here today ordered Goodyear Malaysia to pay back wages to 109 migrant workers.
The local operation of US manufacturer Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co was also told to comply with its collective agreement.
According to Reuters, about 250 migrant workers had filed five complaints against Goodyear Malaysia in 2019 and 2020 over non-compliance with a collective labour agreement. They are claiming about RM5 million in unpaid wages.
The workers from Nepal, Myanmar and India claimed they were denied shift allowances, annual bonuses and pay increases that were given to Malaysian staff, who had a labour union to represent them.
Reuters said Goodyear Malaysia argued that the migrant workers did not have legal standing to file the complaint as they were not union members.
In ruling on three of the cases on June 9, and published today, industrial court president Rasidah Chik said: “It is clear that the complainants have proved that all of them are covered within the scope of the collective agreement and thus they are eligible to receive the benefits provided.”
The report quoted lawyer Chandra Segaran Rajandran, who appeared for the migrant workers, as saying: “This is just the tip of the iceberg albeit a significant milestone in the treatment of migrant workers in this company.”
The workers, he said, would pursue other benefits in the collective agreement that had been denied to the workers, including arrears in overtime pay and allowances.
The court had ruled in favour of the migrant workers in two of the five cases last year. Goodyear has challenged both verdicts at the High Court.
Goodyear Malaysia, the report added, was also facing accusations of unlawful overtime, wrongful salary deduction, denying workers full access to their passports, and issuing threats to migrant workers.
Reuters said Goodyear Malaysia was not immediately available for comment. - FMT
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