Union says no; Globe still publishing


The New York Times Company is playing hardball with the biggest union at the Boston Globe. Members of the Boston Newspaper Guild voted down a package of concessions, but the Times Co. instituted a 23% pay cut and indicated that the newspaper would continue to operate.

The vote to reject the proposed contract was 277-265. It would have required lesser pay cuts, but more than 10%, and a number of other labor give-backs. The Guild was the only one of the four unions at the Globe to reject concession contracts, but it is the largest.

Times Co. has said that it would be forced to close down the Boston newspaper unless it got $20 million in cost reductions from the unions – with half coming from the Guild. The company said it was disappointed in the vote outcome, but had no choice but to impose $10 million in cuts on Guild-represented workers to keep the newspaper operating. Times Co. had threatened to shut down the Globe unless it got those labor concessions.

With the contract turned down by such a narrow margin, there was no indication that Guild officials would seek to call a strike. Rather, they are planning to file unfair labor charges against the Times Co. with the National Labor Relations Board and seek a court order to block the pay cuts. According to the report in the Boston Globe, the Boston Newspaper Guild represents nearly 700 editorial, advertising and business office employees at the newspaper.