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Nike Knocked by Unions for Company's ‘Tax Avoidance’ Strategies

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 3 days ago Matt Townsend
A customer looks at footwear in a Nike Inc. store at the Vincom Center shopping mall in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. President Donald Trump's decision not to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership and pledge to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement are forcing companies to rethink supply chains and capital investments in a new era of protectionist policies. His moves weigh heavily on importers such as Nike and Ford Motor Co. as he seeks to boost domestic manufacturing and create jobs.:  © Bloomberg/Bloomberg  

(Bloomberg) -- Nike Inc., which was cited in the so-called Paradise Papers for funneling billions of dollars into offshore tax havens, is now facing a push by organized labor to stop the practice.

The AFL-CIO, a federation of 56 unions that represent 12.5 million workers, said it sent a shareholder proposal on Tuesday to the company. The document asks the world’s largest sports brand to pay its fair share of taxes -- money that could help finance schools, infrastructure and hospitals.

“The use of offshore tax-avoidance strategies poses substantial financial and reputational risks for Nike,” the AFL-CIO, which plans to hold a press call to discuss its campaign on Wednesday, said in a statement.

The move comes after Nike’s appearance earlier this month in the Paradise Papers, a trove of 6.8 million leaked internal files from an international tax law firm. The documents have been analyzed by more than 90 media outlets and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. A report from this group highlighted Nike’s use of a subsidiary that allowed it to shift billions in profits from Europe to a tax haven in Bermuda.

Nike, based in Beaverton, Oregon, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at mtownsend9@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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