April 22, 2006: Hoffa International Rep Rick Middleton, who also heads Los Angeles Local 572, has a little explaining to do. Middleton has invested $20,000 of members’ dues money in the notorious union-buster Wal-Mart.
Many members of Local 572 who work in the grocery warehousing and distribution industry have been hurt by Wal-Mart’s predatory practices and low wages. Why is Middleton putting their money into Wal-Mart?
Ironically, three years ago Middleton was named co-chair of a Teamster anti-Wal-Mart committee.
TDU uncovered this information on Local 572’s new LM-2 financial report, which includes a list of all investments over $5,000. Local 572 has put about $200,000 of members’ money roughly equally into the stocks of ten corporations, including J P Morgan, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and…Wal-Mart!
Hoffa and his campaign supporters like Middleton recently spread the ridiculous lie that Tom Leedham is funded by Wal-Mart. The Hoffa Campaign circulated smear materials, but did not even file an election protest let alone a complaint with the Department of Labor.
Why didn’t the Hoffa Campaign turn over its evidence? Because it doesn’t exist. The Hoffa smear about Leedham and Wal-Mart is just dirty politics—a big lie with no basis in fact.
The fact that a Hoffa International Rep is signing over members’ money to Wal-Mart is indisputable. Middletown’s own financial report with his signature on it proves it. You can review it yourself by doing a search on the DOL website for Local 572’s LM-2 (or contact TDU).
If someone tries to tell you that Middleton was just buying a share so he could get the stockholders’ report or participate in stockholders actions, let them know that one share would do the trick. Wal-Mart shares are trading at $46, not $20,000!
How about it, Hoffa. Could you ask your staff to pull Teamster members’ money out of Wal-Mart?
The data for this article come from forms filed with the Department of Labor. You can view them on the DOL website or call TDU for a copy.