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Ear to the Ground

Portland, Oregon Drops Investments in Walmart

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Posted on May 17, 2014

Photo by Eneas De Troya (CC BY 2.0)

As part of an attempt to invest responsibly, officials have announced that the city will let its bonds with the retail giant and documented labor abuser die when a final holding expires in April 2016.

Commissioner Steve Novick led the drive to eliminate the corporation from city treasury holdings.

Portland Business Journal reports:

The final Walmart bond among the five the city currently holds will expire in April 2016. At that point, the city will have eliminated $36 million worth of investments in the company, according to a release.

Union members and Pastor Tara Wilkins from the Bridgeport United Church of Christ appeared with Novick at a Thursday rally announcing the move.

The move comes as the city seeks to evaluate holdings that may spur “health and environmental concerns, abusive labor practices, and corrupt corporate ethic and governance.”

Until Thursday, Walmart holdings accounted for 2.9 percent of the city’s investment portfolio, which ranges between $940 million and $1.29 billion. It generated about $4.3 million in earnings during the last year.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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