Brandon Hopkins, the leader of United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 455, is at it again. This time, he’s convinced his members to authorize a strike in Louisiana while also threatening to strike in Houston.
The strike authorization for Louisiana – just the latest of numerous strike authorizations since Hopkins became president in 2020 – comes just days after the release of Local 455’s updated financial documents. Those documents reveal massive pay increases for Hopkins while at the same time his Local 455 suffers with more than $2.6 million in debt.
In 2020, Brandon Hopkins received a salary of $261,676 despite being president of Local 455 for just 9 months after his father retired and he was put in charge.
Then just one year later in 2021, Hopkins was “rewarded” with an almost 25% raise – bumping his salary all the way up to $321,405.
What has Brandon done for his members to deserve that massive 2020 salary, let alone a nearly $60,000 pay increase in 2021?
And What About Hopkins Sr.?
Get this: Local 455 also footed the bill in 2021 for a $101,864 salary for Brandon’s father – former president Bill Hopkins.
Despite Hopkins Sr. retiring in early 2020 and handing off the “family business” to his son, it appears that Jr. is still paying his father at the expense of members and Local 455’s balance sheet.
Regardless, that’s a pretty sweet retirement gig, right?
Believe it or not, it gets worse. It seems that earning $101,864 as a retired union boss wasn’t enough.
A November 2021 investigation by Texas Insider revealed a more troubling development: Bill Hopkins, Brandon’s father, had also secretly paid himself almost $85,000 from 2018-2020 through an LLC, Texas Labor Consultants, conveniently registered to his home address.
Those payments continued into 2021, with Texas Labor Consultants raking in another $92,000.
All of that reportedly was on top of the nearly $750,000 Local 455 salary Bill Hopkins raked in in 2020.
In fact, according to Texas Insider, “A review of Local 455’s salary data housed on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website shows that the 14,000 workers, employees and members the union says it represents have paid the Hopkins a grand total that’s just short of $7,500,000.00.”
That’s union greed at its finest.
Local 455 is Millions in Debt
Those massive salaries and secret LLC payments could make one believe UFCW Local 455 is extremely well off and has money to spare. The reality is quite the disturbing opposite.
From January to December 2021, Local 455 went from nearly $1.5 million in the bank to just $580K.
Where did all that money go?
When factoring in the pay raises and a secret family LLC, Local 455 paid son Brandon Hopkins and father Bill Hopkins a combined $515,269 last year alone.
That is almost equivalent to all the cash Local 455 had in the bank as of December 2021!
Worse, Local 455 is now more than $2.6 million in debt to Marc Perrone’s UFCW International.
The reported greed displayed by Brandon and Bill Hopkins sure does suggest that they prioritize their own self-interests ahead of the Local 455 members they claim to represent.