Update: Goodyear is now in full damage control:
Yesterday, Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company. Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. pic.twitter.com/oO6jUg2rTR
— Goodyear (@goodyear) August 19, 2020
Interestingly, the company seems to be defining “acceptable” activism as simply “equity issues” and “unacceptable” activism as “political campaigning” (which is what the slide was also trying to do), but in this national climate, it’s dubious to claim that any activist movement is devoid of an underlying political cause.
That’s why this PR statement might do Goodyear more harm than good, even though the company now says it supports law enforcement.
It’s also noteworthy that Goodyear disabled the comment section for the tweet.
Responding to the outrage over Goodyear’s alleged “zero tolerance training” that suppresses conservative viewpoints, President Trump said “don’t buy Goodyear tires.”
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!).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2020
Goodyear’s stock prices slid at least 4% as a result.
As reported earlier, a photo spreading on social media reportedly shows a Goodyear “zero tolerance training” slide stating that the company finds Black Lives Matter and LGBT pride as “acceptable” viewpoints while finding that Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter and MAGA attire were “unacceptable” viewpoints under the company’s “zero tolerance” policy.
Political indoctrination such as this “diversity training” seminar at @Goodyear occurs routinely at major corporations.
It’s acceptable to openly support Marxist organizations and “pride,”
but support police or say anti-political things like “all lives matter?” Zero tolerance. pic.twitter.com/wzS5iWl9S4
— NF Singh ✪ (@SinghManSpeak) August 19, 2020
“According to the employee who took the photo of the slide, it was presented at the Topeka plant by an area manager and says the slide came from their corporate office out of Akron, Ohio,” reported WIBW. “‘If someone wants to wear a BLM shirt in here, then cool. I’m not going to get offended about it. But at the same time, if someone’s not going to be able to wear something that is politically based, even in the farthest stretch of the imagination, that’s discriminatory,’ said the employee under the agreement of anonymity due to fears they could lose their job.”
“If we’re talking about equality, then it needs to be equality. If not, it’s discrimination.”
WIBW reached out to Goodyear for a statement, but the company didn’t answer whether the slide was part of a training from their main office.
Update: In a prepared statement, Goodyear finally claimed the slide wasn’t “created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class.”
Previously, Goodyear had this to say:
“As part of this commitment, we do allow our associates to express their support on racial injustice and other equity issues but ask that they refrain from workplace expressions, verbal or otherwise, in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party as well as other similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of equity issues.”
Perhaps Goodyear will become the 2020 version of Carrier, an HVAC company that played a pivotal role in the 2016 election after an employee leaked video showing the company announcing it was outsourcing jobs to Mexico.
Then-candidate Trump seized on the Carrier controversy to point out that Americans losing their jobs to outsourcing had been going on for decades.
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