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Workers Push to Come Before Creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Payouts

Workers can lose everything when their employer files for bankruptcy. At least for now. A pro-labor movement sparked by the employees of Toys “R” Us Inc., and taken up by Sears Holdings Corp., has reached the U.S. Congress. Representative Tim Ryan, an Ohio Democrat, said he plans to reintroduce 2017 legislation that would define worker claims in bankruptcy as administrative expenses, meaning they’d be paid in full, like the investment bankers, consultants, lawyers and liquidators who earn millions of dollars dismantling dying companies. It comes after 19 Democrats, including Ryan and presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, teamed up in July to demand answers from Toys “R” U

Welcoming New Standards: Building Labor's Report Card, World Bank's Impact Standards

America’s Building Trades Unions (ABTU), whose members own $600 billion in pension assets, released their third report card on how well fund managers connect pension fund investments to projects that create union jobs. This year's ratings focused on asset managers for real estate and infrastructure funds, according to Pension and Investments Magazine. Of the 24 real estate and infrastructure fund managers responding to this year's survey, 14 earned grades of A+ or A, while seven earned an F. Two managers earned a B, and one got a C. Another 32 firms did not respond. Kudos to Dan Pedrotty, ABTU’s Director of Capital Strategies and a long-time Heartland supporter! Here’s the Report Card: On Ap

Report: Department of Labor investigating hedge fund's handling of retirement plan assets

The U.S. Department of Labor reportedly is investigating a prominent hedge fund sponsor over its handling of hundreds of thousands of dollars in pension funds at some of the U.S. newspapers in its control. The investigation focuses on Alden Global Capital, the controlling shareholder of MNG Enterprises, the publisher of more than 100 local news properties, including The Denver Post and the Boston Herald. The properties are run under the brand MediaNews Group and have also operated under the name Digital First Media. As much as 90% of some of MNG newspapers' pension assets were invested in two hedge funds controlled by Alden during the last few years, U.S. Department of Labor records show. An

Investing for Impact: Operating Principles for Impact Management

What are the Principles? Operating Principles for Impact Management (the Principles) describe the essential features of managing investment funds with the intent to contribute to measurable positive social, economic, or environmental impact, alongside financial returns. This goes beyond asset selection that aligns investment portfolios with impact goals (for example, the SDGs), to requiring a robust investment thesis of how the investment contributes to the achievement of impact. The Principles have been designed from the perspective of an end-to-end process. The five elements of this process are: strategy, origination and structuring, portfolio management, exit, and independent verification

Report card gauges union pension fund assets’ ties to building trades jobs

Some real estate and infrastructure fund managers dealing with building trades pension funds are doing better than others when it comes to connecting pension fund assets and union jobs, according to a report card released Wednesday at the North America’s Building Trades Unions’ Washington legislative conference. Building trades unions with a collective $600 billion in pension fund assets are increasingly demanding that connection, with a goal of moving $70 billion in pension assets over the next 10 years into funds that invest in businesses that create union jobs, NABTU President Sean McGarvey said. “We want all of our resources to support our value, not to undermine it. That includes levera

Workers' Capital is Re-Building Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is changing, and a large part of it is due to our own workers' capital, which has been invested to renew our built environment. Several projects in the city are coming to fruition and the SVA/Heartland Network are proud to be a part of it. We have been supporting sustainable, labor-friendly investments for over 20 years. Our work has focused on bringing back distressed Pittsburgh-region towns and neighborhoods, and our partners have been instrumental in this work. Our first highlighted article touches upon the transformational changes coming to the Strip District. The ERECT Funds and the Bentall Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT), both Heartland partners, have been integral in i

Reuse of Daily News Building a Big Win for Mon-Valley

The reopening of the former Daily News Building as the "Tube City Center for Business and Innovation" is a signal that McKeesport officials want to direct their focus to revitalizing the city's Downtown area. "We have development coming in at all different corners of town --- in Christy Park, on East Fifth Avenue, and RIDC is going to be out with a big announcement within the next 30 days," McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said at Monday's ribbon cutting ceremony. "Up and down the Walnut Street corridor, we have new businesses and construction." One part of the city hasn't seen that level of activity: Downtown. "That's the part of town we're here about today," Cherepko said. More than 300

Port Authority getting first electric buses, considering fleet for Downtown-Oakland rapid transit

Port Authority expects to have its first two electric buses by September and to begin testing them in anticipation of use on the proposed Bus Rapid Transit system between Downtown and Oakland. A committee Thursday recommended the authority board approve buying the buses for $2.27 million to test how well they work. The buses will be used for at least a year out of the authority’s East Liberty garage, where two charging stations will be installed, said Don Rivetti, deputy chief of operations for maintenance. Lake Fong/Post Gazette The purchase of two buses is a change from plans in September 2017, when the agency said it would use a federal grant to buy one electric bus after funding fell sho

It's official: Strip District produce terminal is getting a $50M makeover

Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority board members cleared the way Thursday for the long-awaited makeover of the historic produce terminal in the Strip District. In 4-0 vote, board members gave permission to Chicago-based McCaffery Interests to start construction on the $49.5 million project. The vote was greeted with applause — whether in joy over the project’s approval or relief that the long struggle to get the development going finally is over. McCaffery is wasting little time in getting started after its five-year quest to gain control of the five-block-long Strip landmark. Pamela Austin, McCaffery senior project manager of development, said after the vote work would start on the te

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