AKRON—President Trump is taking aim at Goodyear, one of the world's largest tire makers—and one of six tire manufacturers that remain U.S.-based—calling for a nationwide boycott of Goodyear tires.
Trump's call for a boycott came after seeing a grainy image of a presentation slide that made its way around social media on Aug. 18.
"Don't buy GOODYEAR TIRES—They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less!" Trump wrote on Twitter. "(This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!)."
Early reports about the image indicated that it came from Goodyear's Topeka, Kan., tire plant and was allegedly used as part of a diversity training session.
In a letter posted to Goodyear's Facebook page on Aug. 20, Richard Kramer, Goodyear chairman, CEO and president, said the slide was created by an employee at the Topeka plant without prior approval.
"The slide was not approved or distributed by Goodyear Corporate or anyone outside of (the Topeka) facility," Kramer wrote in the letter. "I deeply regret the impression it has created."
The slide in question listed "acceptable" and "unacceptable" work attire. Under Goodyear's "One Team" branding and a "Zero Tolerance" headline, the slide notes that attire with "Black Lives Matter" and "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride (LGBT)" messaging is permitted at work.
Political apparel with messaging regarding "Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter" and political campaigns, including those bearing Trump's "Make America Great Again (MAGA)" slogan, are "unacceptable," the slide said.
Goodyear responded to those reports in a statement issued several hours after Trump called for the boycott of its products.
"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," Goodyear said.
The statement went on to say that the diversity of Goodyear's work force—including differing in political and social views—is important.
The tire maker reiterated its support for its employees and their right to speak freely, but also feel safe and comfortable at work.
"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," Goodyear said. "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 organization."