Trump urges Goodyear tire boycott after report company bars political attire

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday called for a boycott of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (GT.O) following a local news report in Kansas that the company has deemed political attire including that of the Trump campaign unacceptable for the workplace.

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. flag flies at a Goodyear Tire facility in Somerville, Massachusetts, U.S., July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

“Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS,” Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to his slogan “Make America Great Again.”

Shares in Goodyear, the largest tire company in North America, fell 4% following Trump’s Twitter post.

The company is the largest provider of tires to new vehicles in the United States. Goodyear brand tires were on 24% of new vehicles in the United States in 2018, according to Tire Business, an industry publication.

The White House declined to comment on whether Trump, who is seeking re-election on Nov. 3, was calling for Americans to stop buying new vehicles with Goodyear tires.

Trump’s tweet followed a news report by WIBW, a local CBS affiliate television station, about a Goodyear training session from the company’s Ohio corporate headquarters about political attire presented at a Goodyear plant in Topeka, Kansas.

The WIBW report cited a photograph that it said was of a slide from a Goodyear employee from a presentation listing acceptable and unacceptable workplace attire.

In a statement provided to WIBW, the Goodyear said it welcomed speech on equality issues but not politics as part of its effort to foster “an inclusive and respectful workplace.”

“We do allow our associates to express their support on racial injustice and other equity issues but ask that they refrain from workplace expressions, verbal or otherwise, in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party as well as other similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of equity issues,” Goodyear spokeswoman Melissa Monaco told WIBW.

Reuters has not verified the accuracy of the WIBW story.

Goodyear did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment on Trump’s tweet.

Reporting by David Shepardson and Jan Wolfe; writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Will Dunham

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