Rich Kramer Seeks to Clarify Goodyear's Position
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Chairman and CEO Rich Kramer has issued a statement in an effort to "clarify Goodyear's position" on its support for law enforcement, as well as its policy on what graphics and images employees are allowed to wear to work. Kramer's words come a day after President Donald Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear due to that policy.
Kramer acknowledges the photograph that shows a slide from an employee training session at its Topeka, Kan., tire plant was created by an employee at that plant — and that it wasn't created or approved by anyone at Goodyear's corporate offices.
That image, which says wearing clothing with Trump's "Make America Great Again" is unacceptable for work attire, drew ire and controversy from the president, as well as others. Also listed as unacceptable were "Blue Lives Matter," "All Lives Matter," and other politically-affiliated slogans.
Trump responded to the image with a tweet calling for a boycott of Goodyear tires.
A message from Rich Kramer: By now, you are aware of a visual from our Topeka factory that has been circulating in the media. I want to personally clear the record on what you are seeing and hearing. pic.twitter.com/UqqFeFQn6t— Goodyear (@goodyear) August 20, 2020
The text of Kramer's full statement is below:
“By now, you are aware of a visual from our Topeka factory that has been circulating in the media, and I want to personally clear the record on what you are seeing and hearing. The slide in question was created by a plant employee to try to explain what is acceptable to wear in the workplace. The slide was not approved or distributed by Goodyear Corporate or anyone outside of that facility.
“I deeply regret the impression it has created and want to clarify Goodyear’s position.
“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. We have proudly supplied tires to police and fire personnel for more than 100 years and that relationship is foundational to our company.
“We have clarified our policy to make it clear associates can express support for law enforcement through apparel at Goodyear facilities.
“The core of our company is our people and our culture. Goodyear has always supported both law enforcement and equal justice. We will always do so.
“I want to thank each and every one of our customers for your partnership during these unprecedented times.”
As was the case with Goodyear's initial company statement issued Aug. 19, Kramer's Aug. 20 message does not address Trump or the boycott.