Last night, The Boston Globe‘s largest union, the Boston Newspaper Guild, rejected $10 million in wage and benefit cuts proposed by the paper’s owner, The New York Times Co.
The guild, which represents nearly 700 editorial, advertising, and business office workers, voted 277 to 265 to reject the Times Co.’s contract offer, according to boston.com. As a result, the Globe‘s owner said it would impose a 23 percent pay cut, which is set to go into effect next week.
In response, the guild has promised members that it will file unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board and seek a court order barring the Times Co.’s from implementing the cuts, boston.com reported. The guild is the only one of four Globe unions to reject the Times Co.’s proposed offer.
The package rejected by the guild included wage reductions of about 8.4 percent, a one-week unpaid furlough and the elimination of company contributions to retirement plans. The Times Co. has said the cuts are necessary because the financial status of the Globe is so perilous it might otherwise have to be shut down completely. The death of Boston’s great paper would be a huge blow to Beantown and New England. It would be worse than losing a local paper — it would be the loss of a true regional news source.
“With today’s vote, members of the Boston Newspaper Guild have said that the New York Times Company must do better than the offer that was presented,” said Dan Totten, president of the Boston Newspaper Guild in a statement following last night’s vote. “Globe workers and the New England community understand that the quality of The Boston Globe — an institution so vital to the life and culture of the region — depends on the fair treatment of the men and women who work so hard to produce it. The Boston Newspaper Guild is committed to resuming good-faith negotiations with the New York Times Company and Globe management to reach an agreement.”