Thursday, June 13, 2024

Tire maker Goodyear to close manufacturing plant in Malaysia

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Tire maker Goodyear to close manufacturing plant in Malaysia © Reuters. A woman sits at a bus stop outside Goodyear factory in Shah Alam, Malaysia May 6, 2021. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng/File photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, one of the world’s largest tire makers, plans to shut down its plant in Malaysia on June 30 – a decision expected to affect more than 500 employees, the company and Malaysia’s investment promotion agency said.

Goodyear said the decision to shutter the plant in the Shah Alam district in Selangor state – which opened in 1972 – was part of its Goodyear Forward corporate restructuring program, aimed at delivering $1 billion in cost reductions by 2025.

“These decisions are not made lightly and we remain committed to treating our associates with care and respect,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. “We will continue to serve the Malaysia market with our industry-leading products and solutions from other manufacturing sites within Goodyear’s footprint.” 

Goodyear has faced accusations of labour abuses, including unpaid wages, excessive overtime and threats against dozens of migrant workers at the Malaysian manufacturing plant in recent years.

The company and the workers reached a settlement agreement in 2022, with each employee paid 50,000 ringgit to 200,000 ringgit ($10,660 to $42,644) depending on the length of their employment, Reuters reported.

In a separate statement on Friday, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said the closing of the plant would directly affect about 550 employees.

The Malaysian government and Goodyear have been working to establish a support framework to help those workers, including upskilling and reskilling programmes and facilitating job placements, MIDA said.

Malaysia has faced accusations from its Human Resources Ministry and authorities in the United States of labour abuses at its factories, which rely on millions of migrant workers to manufacture everything from palm oil to medical gloves and semiconductor chips.

The government has set a target of 2030 to eliminate forced labour practices.

($1 = 4.6900 ringgit)

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