Monday, May 4, 2009

Globe unions bend on lifetime jobs

Boston Globe unions negotiating hours after a fresh threat from the New York Times Co. to close the paper moved swiftly early Monday toward granting major concessions that could spare the paper.

As of 6:10 a.m., only the Newspaper Guild, which represents reporters, had failed to reach a deal as part of the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) demand to shave $20 million from the broadsheet's annual operating costs.

"The only reason we're here to reopen this contract is because we believe (we can save this paper)," Martin Callahan, president of the pressmans' union, said at around 6 a.m. Minutes later, the pressman learned Times management appeared poise to accept their offer aimed at saving the paper about $2.5 million.

The fate of controversial lifetime job guarantees remained unclear.

But about three hours earlier, another union with similar guarantees agreed to allow their modification.

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