Goodyear clarified its policy on acceptable workplace attire on Thursday, one day after reports that one of its facilities in Topeka, Kansas had banned “Make America Great Again” and “Blue Lives Matter” apparel which prompted President Trump to call for a boycott of the Ohio-based company.
Goodyear Chairman and CEO Rich Kramer said the slide from a presentation at the Topeka plant “was not approved or distributed by Goodyear Corporate or anyone outside of that facility.” The company has clarified its policy to inform employees that they can “express support for law enforcement through apparel at Goodyear facilities," but are asked to "refrain" from wearing apparel of a political nature.
“I deeply regret the impression it has created and want to clarify Goodyear’s position,” Kramer said. “First, to be clear, Goodyear does not endorse any political organization, party or candidate. We have a longstanding corporate policy that asks associates to refrain from workplace expressions in support of any candidate or political party.
“Second, Goodyear strongly supports our law enforcement partners and deeply appreciates all they do to put their lives on the line each and every day for our communities,” Kramer added. “We have proudly supplied tires to police and fire personnel for more than 100 years and that relationship is foundational to our company.”
Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear tires after a local news station in Kansas shared a slide of a presentation captured by an employee. The slide, reportedly taken from a diversity training session, showed a list of acceptable and unacceptable phrases under Goodyear’s “zero-tolerance policy.”
The slide listed “Black Lives Matter” and “LGBT” under acceptable phrases, while the Trump slogan “Make America Great Again” and the pro-police slogan “Blue Lives Matter” were listed under unacceptable phrases.
“When they say that you can’t have Blue Lives Matter, you can’t show a blue line, you can’t wear a MAGA hat, but you can have other things that are Marxist in nature, there’s something wrong with the top of Goodyear,” Trump said at a White House briefing yesterday.
Trump said it was “up to people” if they wanted to participate in a boycott.