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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:30pm
Fri Nov 4, 2016

U.S. Multinational Companies Owe $700 Billion In Taxes On Offshore Profits, New Research Shows

American multinational corporations are apparently dodging nearly $700 billion in U.S. taxes they owe on profits stockpiled offshore, according to a new "corporate tax chartbook" from Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Last year, Fortune 500 companies had $2.4 trillion in untaxed offshore profits, on which they owe up to $695 billion in U.S. taxes, the analysis found.

"Corporations have not paid any U.S. taxes on these profits because our tax system lets them defer paying taxes until that income is brought back to the U.S. parent corporation (i.e., repatriated)," the report states.

This deferral process costs the U.S. Treasury roughly $126 billion annually or $1.3 trillion over a decade. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:01pm
Mon Sep 19, 2016

Refugee Resettlement Surges In Chicago, Local Experts Say

The number of people seeking sanctuary in the Chicago area is growing significantly, according to a local agency that helps refugees resettle in the city.

"Right now, we are experiencing a really crazy surge in arrivals," Lea Tienou told an audience of college students as well as immigrant and refugee service providers and advocates.

Tienou is associate director of refugee family adjustment and employment services at the Heartland Alliance. She spoke Monday afternoon at DePaul University's Loop campus as part of a panel discussion about the global refugee crisis. 

The Heartland Alliance typically sees about 20 refugees per month, Tienou explained. Just in the last month, however, 100 refugees came to the agency, and 90 more are expected to seek assistance from the Heartland Alliance in September.

"It's been a really busy time, and this is throughout the country that we're seeing a really large influx of arrivals," she said. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:18pm
Tue Apr 19, 2016

Pending U.S. Trade Deals Could Gut Environmental Policies, Report Argues

A leading environmental group is sounding the alarm over climate threats posed by pending trade agreements, including the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

TPP is a free trade agreement among the United States and 11 other countries, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The agreement was signed in February and still needs ratification from the U.S. Congress.

In a recent report, the Sierra Club says the TPP and another proposed trade agreement under negotiation between the United States and the European Union, called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), "threaten efforts to keep fossil fuels in the ground."

"Like NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], the TPP and TTIP would give foreign corporations broad rights, including the right to challenge new fossil fuel restrictions that thwart their 'expectations' for a stable business environment," the report explains. "The trade deals would empower the corporations to bypass U.S. courts and take such challenges to tribunals of three private lawyers, unaccountable to any domestic legal system, under a process known as 'investor-state dispute settlement' (ISDS)."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:59am
Wed Mar 23, 2016

Laid Off Chicago Bakery Workers, Union Leaders Prepare To Escalate Nabisco Boycott Campaign (VIDEO)

Laid off Chicago Nabisco bakery workers and their union leaders say they aren't done fighting to protect American jobs from being shipped to Mexico. They protested Wednesday outside the bakery and detailed next steps for their Nabisco consumer boycott campaign. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:03am
Thu Mar 17, 2016

U.S. House Looks At Filing Supreme Court Brief Against Obama's Immigration Orders (UPDATED)

A controversial resolution involving the legal challenge against President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration is slated to go up for a vote in the Republican-led U.S. House Thursday afternoon.

Under the resolution, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) would have the power to file a Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of his chamber opposing Obama's immigration orders. Ryan, who filed the resolution Monday, says the issue boils down to defending Article I of the Constitution, which defines the legislative branch's powers. 

But House Democrats say the Republican effort is just a "political stunt."

"The vote today is a political stunt disguised as a legal brief, because the Republican majority sees a crass political opportunity to stand with the anti-immigration wing of their party," U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) said on a morning conference call. "They keep saying, 'Well [GOP presidential frontrunner Donald] Trump doesn't represent us. He doesn't rep our views. He doesn't represent our values,' and now they want to know where Trump gets all his anti-immigrant, xenophobic ideas from. Try the House of Representatives."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:53pm
Thu Mar 10, 2016

Chicago Nabisco Bakery Workers Rally Against Layoffs, Offshoring Of American Jobs (VIDEO) (UPDATED)

Chicago Nabisco bakery workers protested Thursday against Mondelez International's plans to move hundreds of local jobs to Mexico.

Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
3:45pm
Mon Feb 22, 2016

Candlelight Vigil Held For Several Hundred Jobs Lost & In Peril In Chicago

A warm atmosphere contrasted the cold weather as demonstrators gathered to chant, cheer, and shout in defiance of Mondelez International, one of the world's largest snack companies, Sunday evening.

At times it was difficult to hear the organizers speaking over the sounds of the crowd cheering and passing cars beeping on the corner of 73rd and Kedzie Ave., where a candlelight vigil was held directly across the street from the Nabisco factory, which is owned by Mondelez International.

Last year, Mondelez told employees that the company would be relocating much of the production work to Salinas, Mexico.

So far 227 employees have received layoff notices as a result of the company closing nine of the bakery's sixteen production lines. Additionally, Mondelez is contemplating the opening of four new lines in Mexico, which would result in a total loss of 600 jobs in Chicago.

Barbara Cimbalista, an employee of Mondelez International, says she was told by management that if they want to keep their jobs, they need to be able to compete with Mexico.

"I said, 'how do you expect us to compete with Mexico when they get $3 an hour, and we get $25 an hour,'" asked Cimbalista. "They said cut wages and benefits. I said 'no, I don't think so.'"

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