Goodyear President and CEO Rich Kramer just backed down after damning audio leaked from a training meeting at a Topeka, Kansas facility.
In the audio, employees were told that while they could wear clothing that supported certain social causes like Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ pride, they were banned from wearing anything portraying MAGA, Blue Lives Matter, and items relating to supporting law enforcement.
CONTROVERSIAL GOODYEAR AUDIO: New audio reveals why Topeka Goodyear said All Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter and MAGA attire are unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/5MNo2EAH3w
— NBC15 News (@nbc15_madison) August 20, 2020
In the wake of the leak of this audio, Kramer issued a lengthy letter about Goodyear’s policies on social media.
“A message from Rich Kramer: By now, you are aware of a visual from our Topeka factory that has been circulating in the media,” he captioned the letter. “I want to personally clear the record on what you are seeing and hearing.”
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 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,” Kramer wrote. “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,” he added. “We have a longstanding corporate policy that asks associates to refrain from workplace expressions in support of any candidate or political party.”
Kramer went on to say that Goodyear is firmly pro-police.
“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,” the letter added. “We have proudly supplied tires to police and fire personnel for more than 100 years and that relationship is foundational to our company.”
Kramer then said that employees are in fact allowed to wear pro-police apparel.
“We have clarified our policy to make it clear associates can express support for law enforcement through apparel at Goodyear facilities,” the letter concluded. “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.”