Yesterday, US President, Donald Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. He accused the company of “playing politics” by forbidding workers from donning the “Make America Great Again” caps favoured by his supporters. His tweet read: “Don’t buy Goodyear Tires – They announced a Ban On Maga Hats.”
The president also told reporters he would replace the Goodyear tyres on his presidential limousine if an alternatives are available. President Trump later said at a briefing: “I’m not happy with Goodyear because what they’re doing is playing politics.”
Goodyear replied: “To be clear on our longstanding corporate policy, Goodyear has zero tolerance for any forms of harassment or discrimination,” Goodyear tweeted. “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.”
This is another off-the-cuff crusade that could backfire on President Trump, who is behind his Democratic Party rival Joe Biden in the polls. Telling Americans not to buy American will not go down well with voters and if Goodyear looses sales, it may have to reduce output and have lay-offs. That would not be popular within Goodyear’s workforce.
Goodyear is the largest tyre company in North America. Its branded tyres were on 24 per cent of new vehicles in the United States in 2018, according to Tire Business. The US company is headquartered in Akron, in Ohio, which is seen as one of the vital swing States in the November presidential election.
A message from Goodyear today to customers, partners and associates:
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 organisation.
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 utmost appreciation for the vital work police do on behalf of our shared communities. This can’t be said strongly enough.