Hello, Mr. Don Detore:
First of all, my condolences for the loss of your mother.
I have been in the tire industry since 1998 and have never been so disappointed by an "opinion" article in your forum as I was with "Defending the Industry," as well as the drawing above the article, (Aug. 31 edition) which, although clever, in my opinion was in very poor taste.
It has been over 22 years since I first started working in the tire industry, and I have never written a "Letter to the Editor" before. Given the state of our union and the disregard for police officers and others' personal property with rioting, arson, looting and domestic terrorism, I felt that I can no longer remain silent when one-sided arguments or articles condemn our president without true journalism or rebuttal.
Your article begins by saying that the paragraphs are not about a political statement, but that is exactly what it was as you sided against the president without giving a full journalistic view of why President Trump mentioned boycotting Goodyear.
Based on the information that President Trump and everyone else had of a management employee of Goodyear stating and showing presentation slides that BLM and LGBT logos (the first of which many consider to be a domestic terrorist organization) are acceptable to wear and display at Goodyear facilities, but that a MAGA hat or anything supporting President Trump or our hard-working law folks in enforcement, aka "Blue Lives Matter," are not allowed.
In my opinion this gave President Trump every right to say and tweet what he did, calling for a Goodyear boycott.
Of course, some of Goodyear senior managers including their CEO, Rich Kramer, have denied it, but it was shown in slides by a Goodyear manager who was in charge of giving instructions to a class/meeting which makes it Goodyear's responsibility to accept the blame and apologize for their mid-management's mistake if they indeed do not agree with what was projected and shown. Mr. Kramer's response however did not directly or specifically deny the allegation.
The mainstream media is responsible for sowing the seeds of dissatisfaction in this country and it appears that Tire Business has joined with them. President Trump has helped America and improved life for the average American dramatically in just three years.
He has renegotiated trade deals that have decreased the trade deficit, saved jobs in the U.S. and addressed unfair trade practices and many inequities between the U.S. and China, Mexico and Canada as well as other countries.
Even though I currently work for a Chinese tire company, I had to agree it was in the best interests of America that some tariff sanctions be put on Chinese imports into the U.S.
Please don't turn Tire Business into another mainstream media newspaper. Provide us with news in a professional journalistic manner that presents all sides of the arguments fairly, not just one side. This is what your readers deserve.
In closing I want to say that normally I do enjoy reading Tire Business, and this is one of the few articles which have given me pause and a reason to voice my opinion.
Editor's note: Goodyear President and CEO Rich Kramer posted a letter on Twitter to Goodyear customers in response to this issue. Here is part of his statement:
"The slide in question was created by a plant employee to try and explain what is acceptable to wear in the workplace. The slide was not approved or distributed by Goodyear corporate or anyone outside of (the Topeka) facility.
I deeply regret the impression it has created and want to clarify Goodyear's position.
First, to be clear, Goodyear does not endorse any political 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.
Second, 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. We have proudly supplied tires to police and fire personnel for more than 100 years, and the relationship is foundational to our company.
We have clarified our policy to make it clear associates can express support for law enforcement by wearing apparel at Goodyear facilities."