Union Activists Plan Protests Against KKR

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Union activists plan to demonstrate outside of the New York headquarters of private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co today, calling for higher taxes on buyout firms, better treatment of workers and more attention to environmental concerns.
The protest will be the latest in a series of protests that have been organized against private equity. Ironically, even as unions and other special interests have taken aim at private equity, the private equity business has been in a slump itself. Private equity deal flow is down 70% this year. New commitments to buyout funds are harder to come by. Banks, reeling from credit market losses, are hesitant to provide financing for deals. An even deeper irony is that private equity firms often rely on union dominated pension funds to invest in their buyout funds.
Today's protests are being organized by the Service Employees International Union, with help from MoveOn.org. The SEIU were the folks who staged the protest in Philadelphia that interrupted a speech by the Carlyle Group's David Rubenstein. As part of what the organizers are calling an international "day of action," similar protests are planned today in 25 different countries.

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