Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. shares were under pressure Wednesday as President Trump called for a boycott of the company, after some employees said they were told they could wear Black Lives Matter apparel but not clothing with logos such as MAGA or Blue Lives Matter.
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Shares of the Akron, Ohio-based tire manufacturer fell as much as 5.86% following the president’s tweet while rival Bridgestone Corp. was up 1.42%.
“Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES - They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS,” Trump tweeted earlier Wednesday. “Get better tires for far less!”
The president’s tweet came after WIBW, based in Topeka, Kansas, reported a Goodyear employee highlighting the tiremaker's zero-tolerance diversity policy as “discriminatory.” The guidelines were outlined in a slide that Goodyear’s corporate office had created, the employee said.
Goodyear claimed, however, that its policies had been mischaracterized and that it consistently had discouraged campaigning on company property because of the potential for conflict.
“We ask that associates refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues,” the company announced in a statement.
After hearing concerns that it had taken an anti-law enforcement stance, Goodyear claimed it “has always supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. These are not mutually exclusive.”
The company on July 31 reported sales plunged 41% year-over-year to $2.1 billion in the three months through June as actions taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus “significantly” affected business. The company swung to a $696 million loss from a $54 million profit the prior year.
Goodyear shares were down 37% this year through Tuesday, underperforming the S&P 500’s 4.92% gain.