Union Rejects Contract; Boston Globe’s Future in Doubt

WCVB-TV:

The Boston Newspaper Guild rejected the contract negotiated after the Globe’s parent company, the New York Times Co., said it needed $20 million in annual savings from Globe unions – half of that from the Guild – to avoid shutting down the 137-year-old newspaper.

The Times Co. had said if the contract were rejected, it would try to impose a 23 percent wage cut. It also could follow through on its threat to close the Globe, which would require giving 60 days notice to the state and to employees.

Turnout was high. About 80 percent of the Guild’s members voted.

The union representing delivery drivers approved $2.5 million in wage and benefit cuts yesterday. Here’s background from the NYTimes last night.

A couple weeks back Jeff Jarvis said this in a post entitled, Forcing your own paper out of business:

Buh-bye now. Hello future… [It] occurs to me that The New York Times Company should force the Boston Globe – assuming they were smart enough to set it up as a separate entity – into bankruptcy. It’s losing $85 million a year. They saved only $20 with recent concessions. It could bring The New York Times down. Time for radical surgery.

In When Your Sister Is the Story NYTimes’ Public Editor Clark Hoyt looks at the Times’ own newsroom coverage of the Times Co. April 2 threat to close The Globe and a further warning on May 3 that the company would notify federal authorities of its plans as required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification law. A tentative deal with the Guild was struck May 6. Today that deal was rejected.

         

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