Globe Union Attacks Times Before Key Vote
By Don Irvine
Monday June 8, 2009

Striking a less than conciliatory tone, Boston Newspaper Guild president Dan Totten issued a letter to members before a key vote that may decide the fate of the Boston Globe.

From Editor & Publisher

Less than a week before Newspaper Guild members at The Boston Globe are due to vote on a controversial contract agreement, Guild President Dan Totten has issued a letter to members that is less praise for the deal and more an attack on The New York Times Co.

The agreement, which includes an 8.7% salary cut, unpaid furloughs, and the elimination of some lifetime job guarantees, is set for a vote Monday, June 8. On the contract, Totten writes: “I have every confidence that whatever Guild members decide will be the correct path.”

But on the Times Co., which owns the Globe, Totten offered sharp criticisms of how it has handled the situation: “The Times Company has obtained concessions in large part through its willingness to bully Globe workers.” He also states: “Unfortunately, partnership with its workers isn’t part of The New York Times Company way. At least not in Boston.”

The entire letter can be found at the guild Web site, here.

AP reports today: In a separate memo Wednesday, Globe publisher P. Steven Ainsley said getting the $10 million in savings from the Guild is “essential and non-negotiable.” The Times Co. has said it needs to cut $20 million at the Globe to keep the newspaper open.

Even if the Times achieves the savings they are seeking, it will only be a short term fix as the newspaper industry has long term systemic problems that can’t be solved with cost cuts alone.

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