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Ohio leaders react to Trump calling for boycott of Akron-based Goodyear




Officials throughout Ohio are reacting to President Trump’s call Wednesday to boycott Akron-based tire company Goodyear after the company reportedly told employees they couldn’t wear “Make America Great Again” attire.

“Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS,” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

After Trump’s tweet, it didn’t take long for leaders across Ohio to respond.

“It’s absolutely despicable that the President would call for a boycott of an American company, based in Akron, that employs thousands of U.S. workers,” Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) tweeted Wednesday.

“Keep in mind, this is a President who spent years making his own Trump-branded products overseas,” Brown tweeted. “He failed to stand up for workers in Lordstown, and now he betrays the workers in Akron.”

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tore into Trump for his tweets in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

“Goodyear employs thousands of American workers, including in Ohio where it is headquartered. To President Trump, those workers and their jobs aren’t a source of pride, just collateral damage in yet another one of his political attacks,” Biden said in a statement.

“President Trump doesn’t have a clue about the dignity and worth that comes with good-paying union jobs at places like Goodyear — jobs that can support a family and sustain a community,” Biden added.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), whose district covers Akron and Lordstown, said Trump’s call for a boycott of an “iconic American company in a swing state” was cruel and “really, really dumb politically.”

“It shows the problem that he has — that it’s more about him than it is about other people,” Ryan told The Daily Beast, noting that the company employs roughly 3,000 Ohioans.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan ripped into Trump, saying he is attempting to destroy “heartland jobs.”

“First, you came to destroy American decency. Next, you came to destroy American institutions. Now you’re coming to destroy the American economy and heartland jobs. Luckily you seem to fail at everything you do,” Horrigan tweeted in reply to Trump.

Later, Horrigan tweeted a message of support for Goodyear, saying it has “believed in this community for generations,” has been “investing in the power, tenacity, and honest people of the heartland, which is more than we can say for this president.”

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) told Trump to “stand down” from his attacks on Goodyear.

“Akron is known as the rubber city capital of the world, spurred by the innovation & work of Goodyear alongside the hardworking men and women who made it possible. We are very protective of our people and what made Akron the city it is today. Stand down,” Sykes tweeted.

Trump urged Americans to boycott after a Goodyear employee told a TV station in Kansas that employees at the Topeka plant were instructed not to wear attire with any political slogans, including “Make America Great Again.” The employees were reportedly told through a PowerPoint slide that attire with Black Lives Matter or LGBTQ slogans were acceptable.

Goodyear said Wednesday that wasn’t true.

“Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company,” Goodyear said in a statement shared on Twitter. The company added that its corporate office did not create or release the zero-tolerance slide in question and it was not part of a “diversity training class.”

Goodyear added that they have “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.”

The company said it appreciates the “diverse viewpoints” of all its more than 60,000 employees and has “always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement.”

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