WASHINGTON — Citing labor unrest at the The Greenbrier resort, the Grocery Manufacturers Association here said it will cancel its annual Executive Conference, which had been scheduled there for June 6-9.
GMA's flagship event had been held at the White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., landmark for 60 years. The event will not be rescheduled this year, although certain aspects planned for the meeting — including a celebration of the organization's 100th anniversary — will be conducted at other GMA events later this year, according to Brian Kennedy, a spokesman for GMA.
“The decision to cancel was not an easy one, and is the result of the failure of the labor unions and The Greenbrier management to reach an agreement on a new labor contract,” Cal Dooley, GMA president, said in a statement. “Although no strike has taken place to date, the threat of a work stoppage and the inability of the resort to guarantee the availability of the number and quality of staff required to facilitate our conference is the determining factor in our decision.”
GMA is one of several conventions to pull out of The Greenbrier this spring while negotiations between the historic hotel and more than 1,100 union employees continue, a spokeswoman for the resort told SN. Workers, from nine unions represented by Unite Here, Baltimore, have been working without a contract since March, she said.
GMA intends to resume its annual Executive Conference in 2009 at a location and date to be determined. Kennedy said the organization does not have a 2009 contract with The Greenbrier.