Fayetteville Goodyear employees caught in crossfire between President Trump and company

Akilah Davis Image
Friday, August 21, 2020
Goodyear employees caught in crossfire between Pres., company
Employees at Fayetteville's Goodyear plant have strong reaction toward the company for taking its stance zero-tolerance policy against political expression. Some saying it violates their rights.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- After President Trump calls to boycott Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., over a reported policy ban on workplace expression involving political campaigning, some employees at Fayetteville's plant have strong reactions toward the company for taking this stance. They say it violates their rights.

"Why is Goodyear giving a ban like that and telling us what to wear and what not to wear? The LGBT community and the Black Lives Matter community gets to wear their shirts," said Goodyear employee Robert Sampson. "This is how I feel. If Goodyear doesn't want everybody to wear certain shirts to work. They should make everybody wear uniforms, but they don't do that. That's how I see it."

Sampson is a longtime employee of more than 20 years who works in raw materials prepping rubber. He said the Fayetteville plant used to allow employees to take a political stance and wear it in the workplace but recently reversed course.

RELATED: President Trump lashes out at Goodyear about its policy on 'MAGA' wear

On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted: "Don't buy GOODYEAR TIRES - They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS," Trump said. "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!)."

Goodyear released the following statement:

"First, the visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class. 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.":

United Steelworkers International President Tom Conway released the following statement:

"It would have been nice if the President would have paid as much attention to that loss of American jobs as he does to his MAGA hats. Maybe a tweet or two back then would have been helpful."

The tire and rubber company says the visual was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it used as part of a diversity class.

Since the president's tweet, the company announced employees are allowed to wear apparel that shows support for law enforcement but reitreates its policy against harassment or discrimination.