Home News Goodyear responds to massive backlash over leaked ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy

Goodyear responds to massive backlash over leaked ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy

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Robin Goist

Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland

AKRON, Ohio – Goodyear Tire & Rubber responded on Wednesday to what it described as “some misconceptions” about its policies after President Donald Trump urged people to boycott the Akron-based company for not allowing employees to wear political attire.

But in a four-paragraph statement that did not refer specifically to Trump, the company does acknowledge asking that “associates refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party…”

At issue is a report Tuesday from WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kansas, which includes a photo sent by someone purporting to be an employee at a Goodyear plant. The photo shows a slide that lists “acceptable” kinds of attire, including “Black Lives Matter (BLM)” and “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride (LGBT).” Listed under “unacceptable” are “Blue Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” “MAGA attire” and “Political Affiliated Slogans or Material.”

WIBW reported that the slide was generated from Goodyear’s corporate office in Akron, and that it was presented during a diversity training session.

Trump responded Wednesday on Twitter: “Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!).”

In its response, Goodyear denied that the image was created by “Goodyear corporate” or that it was shown during a diversity training class.

Here is Goodyear’s statement in its entirety, including the company’s use of bold type:

“Yesterday, Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company. For those not aware, a widely circulated image sparked a strong reaction, and we wanted to take the opportunity to provide some important context to the visual and our policies.

First, the visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class. To be clear on our longstanding corporate policy, Goodyear has zero tolerance for any forms of harassment or discrimination. To enable a work environment free of those, 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.

Second, we appreciate the diverse viewpoints of all of our more than 60,000 associates, which are at the heart of many of the policies we establish. Fostering an inclusive, respectful workplace is important to establish teamwork and build culture, which is another reason we ask associates not to engage in political campaigning of any kind in the workplace – for any candidate, party or political organization.

Third and finally, Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. These are not mutually exclusive. We have heard from some of you that believe Goodyear is anti-police after reacting to the visual. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we have the upmost appreciation for the vital work police do on behalf of our shared communities. This can’t be said strongly enough.”

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