Audio from Goodyear training session reveals more about ‘zero tolerance’ policy

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TOPEKA, Kansas, (WJW) — “Democrat. Republican. Trump. Biden. Sanders. Whatever. That will no longer be allowed in the plant.”

New audio from a training session at a Goodyear plant in Topeka sheds more light on a conversation with employees about the company’s zero-tolerance policy.

A photo leaked from the meeting had a list of what was acceptable and unacceptable at the workplace, but the new audio gives more context to that conversation.

WIBW obtained that recording.

The meeting references racial graffiti in the locker room.

“Some people may wish to express their views on social justice or inequity or equity issues such as black lives matter or LGBTQ pride on their face coverings, shirts or wristbands. That will be deemed approved because it applies with a zero-tolerance stance,” the speaker on the recording said during the meeting. “However if any associate wears all, blue, white lives matter shirts or face coverings, that will be not appropriate.”

“Let’s try and comply with these so you know everybody feels good in this factory. I want to make sure guys, think about what we do in this factory, in this factory right. We all work together to make tires. That’s what we do,” the speaker said. “That’s what we get paid to do. So, let’s continue to do that and do the right thing and keep this place what it has always been, a good place to work.”

The speaker does not specifically mention President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, but only says political messages are not allowed.

Trump tweeted Wednesday about the single image that was leaked, urging people not to buy Goodyear tires, citing their ban on “MAGA hats.”

The Akron-based company employs about 63,000 people.

Goodyear released a statement following the president’s tweet, saying in part that the company has zero tolerance for any form of harassment or intimidation.

They say that’s why slogans or messaging that falls “outside the scope of racial justice or equity issues” is not allowed in the workplace.

The president accused them of playing politics.

United Steelworkers Local 2 will host a rally against the president’s call for a boycott.

Congressman Tim Ryan and Reps. Tavia Galonski and Emilia Sykes are expected to be there as well.

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