NY Times Company Threatens Boston Globe Shutdown


BOSTON, Massachusetts—$20 million in cuts from its unions forced The Boston Globe’s management to make a decision threatening to begin the process of shutting down the newspaper.

The New York Times Company, the Globe’s owner, gave the Globe’s biggest union a copy of a notice that was ready to be filed on Monday if an agreement was not met by midnight Sunday. The deadline passed without any complaint by the union of the Times Co. The six-day shutdown notice is required by federal law.

The largest union where the threat was filed is the Boston Newspaper Guild; representatives of that organization said that the tactic was meant to bully. The Time Company threatened to close the Globe last month unless its unions agreed to $20 million in cuts, including half from the Newspaper Guild.

The Guild announced late Sunday that it had suggested more than $10 million in cuts sought by the Times Company to keep the newspaper from going under. At 10p.m. on Friday, two hours before the midnight deadline, the Guild said its proposal called for “tremendous sacrifices, across virtually all categories of compensation and benefits.”

The proposed wage and benefit cuts were discussed but not released, but the union said further details would be made public once all Guild members had the chance to review it.

It is still in question whether the Globe’s other unions had made proposals for the remaining $10 million in cuts.

The Times Company bought the Globe in 1993, and like various other newspapers, the Globe has been struggling in a declining economy. The increase of technology has also made Internet news more readily available at a cheaper cost.

The New York Times Company Chairman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., said at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting last month that more measures should be planned and undertaken in order to align the Globe’s revenues and costs.

Around 4:30 a.m., the union finally reached a tentative agreement that includes a $5 million in concessions and changes in lifetime job guarantees. Mary White, president of Teamster Local 1, which represents 245 mailers, said the concessions were “necessary in closing the deal.”


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