Look busy! General Electric is coming to Detroit
General Electric, makers of the fictional Pontiac Aztek microwave, will hold their annual meeting at the Renaissance Center tomorrow. If you're a Six Sigma nerd, this is kind of like the Super Bowl coming to your town. That is to say, GE's annual meeting is something that only happens once a year, it's never as exciting as it sounds, and people mostly pay attention for the commercials.
Michigan is making an undeniable comeback, and providing a recovery blueprint for other manufacturing communities. We all still have a ways to go. But we know that public-private partnerships and bold leadership, a high-skilled workforce and investment will build a brighter future. Now is the time to make the "Michigan Miracle" the Michigan model that the rest of the country follows.
Unfortunately, not everyone is all that thrilled about GE's Motor City visit. The UAW's 99% Spring plans to protest exorbitant executive salaries for CEOs like Immelt. This is literally the least-surprising thing to ever happen at a corporate meeting. Someone is always protesting these things for one reason or another, but this time is different because this time the protesters are making Nolan Finley sad.
But if massive numbers of raucous demonstrators disrupt the GE meeting, it will be a disaster for Detroit.
Other business gatherings will avoid the city like the plague, hurting the convention business and killing jobs.
More broadly, it will affirm that Detroit is still in the clutches of militant unions, hostile to business and a lousy place to plant money.
Yeah, look at how those militant unions blocked historic concessions at the Big Three and then prevented the state from imposing a consent decree on the city of Detroit. That was crazy. Or it would have been, if any of that actually happened.
Besides, no one is going to hold GE protests against Detroit's convention industry. There's literally no city in the universe where GE, or virtually any Fortune 500 company, will go and not find some kind of protest. You know, because this is America, with all that right of free speech and public assembly junk. Truth be told, even a fledgling mom-and-pop enterprise like General Electric will most likely survive the onslaught of placards and well-worn sloganeering.
It's one thing to argue the protest is misguided because GE's economic and social contributions outweigh any criticism of the company, but Finley's doesn't make that argument. Maybe because he doesn't believe that? His point is GE simply should be above public scrutiny of any kind because, well, just because. Come on, guys, stop being mean to people Nolan Finley really wants to impress!