Rally For Goodyear Extends Battle With President Trump

Demonstrators supporting Goodyear workers at a Thursday rally outside the United Steelworkers Union Local 2 headquarters
Demonstrators supporting Goodyear workers at a Thursday rally outside the United Steelworkers Union Local 2 headquarters. [United Steelworkers Twitter]

Elected officials from Summit County, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Youngstown) and union representatives held a rally in support of Goodyear in front of United Steelworkers Local 2 headquarters in Akron.

Steelworkers Sub-District Director Bill Conner took aim at President Donald Trump after his Wednesday tweet called for a boycott of Goodyear tires.

 "An American company, [a boycott] on American workers, both blue collar and white," Connor said. "He did this based on information he received without checking its accuracy."

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) called the tweet irresponsible for the impact it could have.

"Taking away good paying jobs, 3,300 jobs in this community away, taking money out of people's pockets, food out of children's mouths, because he had a temper tantrum," Sykes said at the rally.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan considered the president’s tweet a direct attack on the city.

"Look up in the sky, just for a second, and see how beautiful it is today. And billions of people across the world look up in the sky, and many times across the Akron area, they see that one iconic symbol. And when they look up and see that blimp and that winged foot and they think of one thing," Horrigan said. "They think, that's Akron right there."

The rally was hosted by State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron), who said the potential impact on jobs got her attention. Both she and Horrigan pointed out Goodyear's major footprint in the Akron area. 

"We are in the shadow of where the entire manufacturing complex was," Horrigan said. "Listen to what Tavia says. One of the neighborhoods she represents, repeat after me: It's Goodyear Heights. It's Goodyear Heights, right over there."

Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro said Trump's tweet doesn't just hurt Goodyear.

"Goodyear brings hundreds of millions of dollars not only to Akron and Summit County but to the state of Ohio. And the products and services that they buy, from the downstream supply chain, from those small businesses, that keeps their lifeblood going also," Shapiro said.

Ryan used the opportunity to rail against Trump's policies and accused the president of using the bully pulpit to hurt Akron and Ohio.

In a Thursday statement, Goodyear denied creating or distributing a training slide posted on social media by an employee deeming Make America Great Again attire unacceptable in the workplace.

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