Wednesday, July 23, 2014         


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Conference will go on despite Hilton labor dispute

By Allison Schaefers


The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans will hold its annual conference in Oahu this fall despite an ongoing labor dispute between Unite Here Local 5 workers and their hotel owners.

The Wisconsin-based group, who counts the International Brotherhood of Teamsters among its largest clients, had threatened to cancel its Nov. 14-17 event after some 1,500 union workers at the Hilton

Hawaiian Village went on a five-day strike that ended at midnight Monday.

"This would have been a huge loss to the entire state of Hawaii if they had canceled," Jerry Gibson, Hilton Hawaiian Village's area vice president and managing director, said yesterday.

"We look forward to welcoming them with aloha in November."

The conference, which has been on the books since 1986, will bring 28,000 room nights to Hawaii hotels.

It will be Oahu's largest citywide event for fall and is expected to bring $40 million in economic benefits to the state during its soft season.

Local 5 hotel workers have been working without a contract since June 30.

The union has not promised to avoid labor activity during the foundation's visit.

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