Goodyear changes course while Governor does not support a boycott of the Akron tire maker

An employee produced slide describing the company's dress code set in motion a nationally played out debate over Goodyear policies.

Goodyear changes course while Governor does not support a boycott of the Akron tire maker
Goodyear changes course and the Governor does not support a boycott of the Akron tire maker

AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - For the third time in three days, Akron based Goodyear released a statement hoping to remove itself from a sticky national debate over policy for its employees regarding dress code issues in its facilities.

A slide, that Goodyear claimed was not produced at the corporate level, shown at an employee meeting in a Kansas plant stated that Black Lives Matter and LGBT attire was approved but Blue Lives Matter, MAGA attire and any political attire was not allowed.

President Trump responded by tweeting to his followers that they should not buy Goodyear tires.

Later that same evening, when asked about Goodyear during a White House briefing, the President refused to back down from the boycott idea.

The President also said he planned to swamp out the Goodyear tires equipped on the presidential limousine, “The Beast.”

Goodyear initially released two statements, both of which stood by its decision to allow Black Lives Matter apparel but not Blue Lives Matter apparel.

But on Thursday, in their third statement on the matter, Goodyear CEO Rich Kramer, on Twitter, said he wanted to clarify the company’s policy and Goodyear was now allowing Blue Lives Matter apparel in their facilities.

Goodyear’s messaging did remain constant in that they wrote that they are supporters of law enforcement and equal justice but would not permit any political expressions of support in their facilities.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, was asked, during his Thursday Covid 19 briefing, about President Trump’s call for a boycott of Goodyear tires.

“We should not boycott this good company, with good Ohio workers, who are doing a good job and making a good product,” Dewine said.

Goodyear is clearly an asset to Akron, Cleveland and Northeast Ohio and just 7 years ago moved into a brand new corporate headquarters in Akron after there being some concern that the company may leave Ohio.

Former Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic was a key figure in keeping Goodyear’s corporate home in Akron.

“It wasn’t just Akron that would be have been affected if we had not been able to keep the corporate headquarters,” the former mayor said, “Everyone virtually reached out to us to say whatever we can do to help.”

The people at Goodyear are now, most likely, hoping they can just go back to work.

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