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Nike Knocked by Unions for Tax Havens Exposed in Paradise Papers

Nov. 15, 2017
Nike has avoided paying $4 billion in U.S. taxes, according to the AFL-CIO.

Nike Inc. is facing a push by organized labor to stop using tax-avoidance schemes following revelations in the so-called Paradise Papers that the sports brand funneled billions of dollars into offshore havens.

The AFL-CIO, a federation of 56 unions that represent 12.5 million workers, said it sent a shareholder proposal to the company on Nov. 14.

The document asks the world’s largest sports brand to pay its fair share of taxes -- money that could help fund public services.

Nike has avoided paying $4 billion in U.S. taxes, according to the AFL-CIO.

“The Paradise Papers described how Nike shifted billions in profits,” Heather Slavkin Corzo, director of AFL-CIO office of investment, said on Nov. 15 during a call with reporters. “This could fund infrastructure, schools and other public services.”

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 offshore 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, Ore., declined to comment.

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