Goodyear President and CEO Rich Kramer spoke out in defense of the company on Thursday following reports of a leaked audio reportedly recorded during a training meeting at a Topeka, Kansas, facility.
The audio caught an unnamed instructor saying that certain social causes — such as Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ pride — were appropriate to display via work apparel, but others — such as MAGA-wear, Blue Lives Matter, and items relating to supporting law enforcement — were not.
What was in the letter?
In a tweet, Kramer issued a lengthy letter about Goodyear’s policies.
The lengthy letter was captioned, “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.”
“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,” the letter continued, pointing out that the company has long prohibited political expression in the workplace.
“First, to be clear, Goodyear does not endorse any political organization, party, or candidate. We have a longstanding corporate policy that asks associates to refrain from workplace expressions in support of any candidate or political party.”
Company says it is certainly pro-police
Kramer also added that the company is staunchly 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 continued. “We have proudly supplied tires to police and fire personnel for more than 100 years and that relationship is foundational to our company.”
The president and CEO also noted that employees are permitted to wear pro-police apparel.
Kramer added, “We have clarified our policy to make it clear associates can express support for law enforcement through apparel at Goodyear facilities.”
Kramer’s 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.”
You can read the letter in its entirety below.