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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:33pm
Thu Jul 28, 2016

Report: U.S. Utility Companies 'Have Become Expert Tax Dodgers'

Profitable U.S. utility companies are not paying their "fair share" in taxes, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:00pm
Tue Feb 23, 2016

Debate Heats Up Over Proposed Chicago Tobacco Ordinance

Some Chicago aldermen, small business owners and retail lobbyists want Mayor Rahm Emanuel to reconsider his tobacco tax proposal, saying the plan would adversely affect local businesses and neighborhoods, including those already impacted by black-market sales of "loosie" cigarettes.

But a coalition of health organizations is firing back, calling on the city council to "reject the tobacco industry's rhetoric and to pass a strong tobacco control ordinance."

Debate rages on over Emanuel's proposal to increase the smoking age in Chicago from 18 to 21 and impose a $6 million tax on non-cigarette tobacco products, with the revenue going in part toward Chicago Public Schools orientation programs. The plan is aimed at preventing "young people from picking up smoking, while investing in their education," according to the administration.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:08pm
Mon Dec 14, 2015

Report: Walmart's China Imports Displaced 400,000 U.S. Jobs

More than 400,000 U.S. jobs were displaced between 2001 and 2013 due to Walmart's imports from China, according to new research from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Of those displaced U.S. jobs, 314,500 were in the manufacturing sector, the progressive think tank found.

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, imported over $49 billion worth of goods from China in 2013, up from $11.4 billion in 2001, when China became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to the research.

The report showed that Walmart likely drove about 15 percent of the U.S. goods trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2013, representing an increase of $36.7 billion over that time period.

The U.S. goods trade deficit with China grew from $84.1 billion in 2001 to $324.2 billion in 2013.

"The current unbalanced U.S.-China trade relationship is bad for both countries, and Walmart has played a major role in creating that imbalance," wrote report author Robert Scott, EPI's director of trade and manufacturing policy research. "The United States is piling up foreign debt, losing export capacity, and facing a more fragile macroeconomic environment."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:01pm
Thu Oct 8, 2015

Barneys Employees In Chicago Push To Unionize, Receive Aldermanic Support (VIDEO)

Ahead of their union election on Saturday, workers seeking to unionize at the Barneys New York in Chicago saw support Thursday morning from three aldermen, who visited the luxury department store and urged management to "treat their employees with respect" and stop alleged anti-union "intimidation tactics."

Chicago Alds. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) and John Arena (45th) met briefly with the Barneys Chicago manager inside the store, 15 E. Oak St., to voice their concerns about the treatment of workers there.

"The flagship Barneys New York store in Manhattan has had a union for decades, and today the workers in Chicago of Barneys New York are asking for the same protections, for the same rights, as their counterparts in New York City. I think it's only fair. It's only right," Ramirez-Rosa told Progress Illinois outside Barneys.

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