Daily US Times: President Donald Trump has called for a boycott of Goodyear, the biggest typer company in North America, stoking a controversy over political expression in the workplace.
The attack followed reports the company had forbidden staff from wearing Trump campaign gear while allowing gay rights and “Black Lives Matter” attire.
Goodyear said its rules forbid activism that falls “outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues” adding that its goal was an “inclusive, respectful workplace”.
The firm’s shares slumped as much as 6% following Mr Trump’s attack but later regained ground.
Goodyear is the largest tyre company in North America and according to Tyre Business, an industry publication, its branded tyres were on 24% of new vehicles in the United States in 2018.
The President’s attention came after a report from a Kansas news outlet, based on a slide from a presentation, which had been shared by an employee.
The slide outlined what was “acceptable” and “unacceptable”, with gear bearing the Trump campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” and “All Lives Matter” statements in the latter category.
Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary, said Trump was concerned that the company allowed attire supporting the “Black Lives Matter” movement and other issues related to equality, but not the “Blue Lives Matter” group backing police officers, or Make America Great Again.
She told in a briefing: “As far as I’m concerned, ‘Blue Lives Matter’ is an equity issue. There have been police officers across this country that have been targeted because they wear the badge.”
“Goodyear needs to come out to clarify their policy,” she added.
On Wednesday, Goodyear defended its stance but said the slide in question had not been prepared at headquarters. The company also said it did not indicate an “anti-police” policy.
It said: “Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so.”
“These are not mutually exclusive,” the company said.
Sherrod Brown, the Democratic Senator who represents Ohio, where Goodyear is based, said the president’s call for a boycott was “despicable”.
Goodyear is not the first company to find itself caught in the crosshairs of America’s heated battles over race and politics.
Last month, Amazon was sued by employees who said the company had discriminated against them by punishing them for wearing Black Lives Matter gear in a selective enforcement of its dress code.
Lawmakers of the Democratic Party also called for a boycott of Goya Foods, a Hispanic-owned food company known for its canned beans, after its chief executive expressed support for President Trump
Earlier consumer campaigns have pressured companies to cut ties with the National Rifle Association and leave business councils advising the Trump administration.