Nearly 100 protestors gathered in New Canaan Saturday afternoon to voice their displeasure over what they're calling corporate greed and job cuts.
Cries of "No jobs, no peace! No jobs, no peace!" arose from the crowd whose anger was directed at , CEO of , a West Road resident. Most protesters were members of the Connecticut Working Families Party, but they also got backing from the larger movement.
"It's time that corporate titans like Jeff Immelt know how tough it is for those of us without multi-million dollar bonuses," said Jon Green, executive director of Hartford-based Connecticut Working Families Party. On its website, the group says it "stands up for the every day families that make Connecticut what it is — not the Wall Street banks, the lobbyists and the CEOs."
Said Green: "Immelt needs to understand how eliminating thousands of jobs and not paying taxes is hurting ordinary Americans."
Daisy Franklin said she considers herself an ordinary American. The Norwalk resident was laid-off after working for nearly 15 years with the Harrel manufacturing company. She's been unemployed for more than year and has to support herself and two kids on less than the $200 per week she receives from the state.
"When you always have, you never know what it's like to be without," Franklin said. "I want to work. Mr. Immelt should take a walk down our streets and see what it's like out there. It's tough."
Immelt, who reportedly earned more than $20 million in compensation from General Electric in 2010, has seen his company cut a reported 19,000-plus jobs in the United States since 2008, according to ABC News. Fairfield-based GE, a company that netted more than a $14 billion in global profits in 2010, reportedly did not pay federal income taxes in 2009 or 2010.
"We want to send a message to Immelt," said Carmen Sargent of Connecticut Working Families. "They need to do their part the same way we do, and pay taxes. They make billions and billions of dollars and pay nothing in taxes. They also destroy thousands of jobs and that's not right."
Protestors didn't know if Immelt, who was recently named by President Obama to lead his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, was even home, but they wanted to make sure their voices were heard throughout Connecticut.
"People are really suffering in this economy," Green said. "We really need help. We need jobs, we need services, and financial aid. We need Immelt to understand as an advisor to the president, that when you eliminate 19,000 jobs for Americans, you are causing a lot of hardships for a lot of people, while your company is profiting from outsourcing of jobs to other countries."
Andrew Williams, media relations director for General Electric, responded by stating, "The protesters certainly have a right to share their opinion, but they don’t have a right to their own set of facts. The fact is that GE is investing in
America. Since 2009 alone, GE has announced more than 10,000 new U.S.
manufacturing jobs and this week, GE announced that it will build its 16th new factory in the U.S. since 2009."
Occupy Wall Street already had hit the Nutmeg State, and .
(Editor's note: This story was edited to include a statement from General Electric)