Globe's Future in Question as Union Rejects Benefit Cuts

June 9, 2009 ( - The Boston Globe's survival is in question as the newspaper's largest union rejected a package of wage and benefits cuts management said were necessary to keep the newspaper alive.

According to the Wall Street Journal, members of the Boston Newspaper Guild rejected by a vote of 277 to 265 a proposal by the Globe’s parent company, New York Times Co., to cut costs. The proposal includes a pay cut of 8.4%, unpaid furloughs, a pension freeze, and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees held by some 190 members, the Journal said.

Times Co. two months ago told union leaders the paper was on pace to lose $85 million this year and would be closed unless its unions agreed to $20 million in concessions. By Monday six of the seven unions involved in negotiations had approved new contracts, leaving only passage by the Guild to be obtained.

Concessions by the Guild account for half of the $20 million.

“We do not have time to reopen negotiations,” Globe publisher Steven Ainsley wrote last week in a memo to employees, according to the news report. “Our financial situation is too urgent, and further delays to resolution are not an option.”