Goodyear to shutdown tyre plant in Malaysia

GoodyearAs one of its cost-cutting exercises globally, US tyre maker Goodyear plans to shut down its plant in Malaysia in June, a decision expected to affect more than 500 employees.

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 US$1 billion in cost reductions by 2025. The plant closure is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“These decisions are not made lightly and we remain committed to treating our associates with care and respect,” the company said in a statement recently. “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 US$10,660 to US$42,644, depending on the length of their employment, Reuters had reported then.

Meanwhile, 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.

Goodyear has said that it will continue to serve the local market with tyres imported from its plants in other countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, China and Taiwan.