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Boston Globe union approves new contract

July 20, 2009 at 10:00 PM   |   Comments

BOSTON, July 20 (UPI) -- Boston Globe reporters and editors voted Monday to accept a new contract that gives the financially struggling newspaper $10 million in concessions.

Members of the Boston Newspaper Guild, the Globe's largest union, rejected a similar deal in June by 12 votes out of more than 500 cast. Globe owner New York Times Co. then instituted a 23 percent wage cut to achieve the $10 million in savings it demanded.

The guild's nearly 700 members approved the contract by a vote of 366-179, The New York Times reported. The contract includes major concessions by labor on wages, benefits and job security, the Times said.

The deal is expected to help put into place one of the last components of Times Co.'s plan to turn around the money-losing 137-year-old newspaper -- New England's largest -- after nearly four months of bitter negotiations and labor unrest, the Globe reported.

The overall plan includes management wage and benefit reductions, the printing plant shutdown, increasing circulation and digital advertising revenues and gaining a total of $20 million in union concessions.

The new Guild package has a slightly smaller pay cut than in the first proposal but deeper benefits cuts. It also ends lifetime job guarantees for about 170 veteran Guild employees and a pension freeze.

It's unclear how long Times Co. will own the paper, which it bought in 1993 for $1.1 billion.

Times Co. put the paper up for sale and at least three potential bidders have emerged, the Globe said.

They include private equity investor and Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca, advertising agency co-founder and chairman of Massachusetts' largest healthcare provider Jack Connors and former Globe executive Stephen Taylor, whose family sold the Globe to Times Co. in 1993.

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