WASHINGTON—Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has accused Goodyear of labor violations at its manufacturing facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and urged Goodyear to "take immediate steps to improve the company's compensation and conduct toward (its) workers in Mexico."
Goodyear, however, said Brown has misconstrued its actions and its attitude toward its workers.
The controversy began earlier this year, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tasked four Democratic members of the House of Representatives with obtaining changes to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that would ensure bipartisan support.
On July 20, those members of Congress—Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Terri Sewell of Alabama and Jimmy Gomez of California—visited San Luis Potosi and requested admittance to the Goodyear plant.
According to them, Goodyear refused.
After their return, the members of Congress wrote Richard Kramer, Goodyear chairman, CEO and president, saying they were "disappointed" at Goodyear's refusal.
They also said they spoke privately with several workers who were fired from the San Luis Potosi plant after striking.
"The workers provided compelling testimony about the poor working conditions, lack of protective gear and safety and overall training provided to workers, non-reporting of hazards, deductions that are taken from already low wages, and discrimination and harassment (directed at women workers especially) at the Goodyear facility," they wrote.
At the time, Goodyear said it "strongly" disagreed with the assertions in the letter.