Rich Kramer, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. chairman, CEO and president, is speaking out about a photo that went viral that national media outlets say came from a company training session on its zero-tolerance discrimination policy at its Topeka, Kansas, factory. This, according to tirereview.com.
The photo in question lists what’s acceptable and unacceptable in the workplace. Black Lives Matter (BLM) and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender pride are listed under acceptable. Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, Make America Great Again (MAGA) attire and political-affiliated slogans or material are listed under unacceptable. The image and story created a Twitter storm after President Donald Trump tweeted, “Do not buy Goodyear Tires. They announced a ban on MAGA hats.”
In a letter published on the company’s Twitter feed Aug. 20, Kramer says the photo came from a slideshow created by a plant employee to try to explain what’s acceptable to wear in the workplace.
“The slide was not approved or distributed by Goodyear Corporate or anyone outside that facility,” Kramer said in the letter. “I deeply regret the impression it has created and want to clarify Goodyear’s position.”
Kramer continued, “To be clear, Goodyear does not endorse any political organization, party or candidate. We have a longstanding company 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 said the company has supplied tires to police and fire personnel for more than 100 years and called the partnership “foundational” to Goodyear. He said Goodyear has also revised its policies so that Goodyear employees can express support for law enforcement through apparel at its facilities.