Boston Globe Guild Votes ‘No’; Now What?

The Boston Newspaper Guild, the Globe’s largest union, narrowly rejected a package of major concessions that included $10 million in wage and benefit cuts, the Globe reported on its Web site about 9:20 p.m. tonight.

The vote was 277 “no” to 265 “yes.”

The newspaper’s owner, the New York Times Co., which earlier threatened a shutdown, had said it will impose a 23 percent pay cut on Globe staffers to obtain savings it needs to keep operating the paper.

Indeed, in a statement released by The Globe just minutes after the vote results were announced late Monday, management said it had sent a formal letter to the guild.

“Since the parties are at an impasse, The Globe will implement the wage reduction effective next week,” the statement said.

The turnout for the vote was a strong 80 percent.

According to a New York Times story on the vote, Daniel Totten, the Boston guild’s president, spoke to reporters outside the newspaper’s offices shortly after the result was announced, and said: “With today’s vote, members of the Boston Newspaper Guild have said that The New York Times Company must do better. Boston Newspaper Guild is committed to resuming good-faith negotiations.”

There was no immediate comment from NYT company officials.

Dan Kennedy, the longtime local media observer, tweeted:
“What’s next at Boston Globe? Best guess: NYT Co. imposes 23 percent cut; Guild appeals to NLRB; chaos continues.” He later noted that the Globe had somehow managed to put out a good paper this year despite the chaos.

Rick Edmonds at Poynter has some strong analysis here.