Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) announced today that it will hold a massive member extravaganza in Chicago tomorrow, and critics wouldn’t miss it for the world. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which has been an outspoken critic of the company for some time, is planning a protest in front of the extravaganza tomorrow.
Herbalife announces extravaganza
Also today, Herbalife issued a long statement saying that Bill Ackman and his firm Pershing Square have continued a campaign of false or misleading statements about it. The statement seemed a bit thin on actual facts related to the issue LULAC will be protesting tomorrow. The advocacy group and Ackman have joined together in accusing Herbalife of profiting from low income communities like Latino immigrants.
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The company said it is planning a second member extravaganza for Atlantic City on Oct. 17. At the extravaganzas, Herbalife said it will focus on “training, recognition and to celebrate the value the company brings to its members, as well as the millions of consumers and local communities around the world.
Herbalife went on to say that it’s “an important contributor” to the economy of Illinois, with almost 4,300 employees and contract manufacturers and suppliers there. The company states that they have over 15,400 independent members in Illinois as well and that people are joining faster than ever. Herbalife said 83,000 new members joined in the first quarter of this year.
LULAC to protest Herbalife extravaganza
In an emailed statement today, LULAC of Lake County said its members will be protesting at the Herbalife meeting tomorrow in Chicago. The organization advocates for immigrants. This week, leaders in the community revealed that another group of alleged victims have filed official complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and the Illinois Attorney General’s office, claiming that they lost money on their Herbalife investments.
“As we continue to raise awareness about Herbalife’s abusive business practices, we have identified a disproportionate number of the victims also being immigrants,” said Julie Contreras, President of LULAC of Lake County, in an emailed statement. “Immigrants are particularly vulnerable because many do not speak English, are often separated from family and friends, and may not understand the laws of the United States that provide protection and restitution from financial scams.”