Friday, April 3, 2009

Times Co. threatens to shut Globe; seeks $20m in cuts from unions

The New York Times Co. has threatened to shut The Boston Globe unless the newspaper's unions swiftly agree to $20 million in concessions, union leaders said yesterday.

Executives from the Times Co. and Globe made the demands Thursday morning in an approximately 90-minute meeting with leaders of the newspaper's 13 unions, union officials said. The possible concessions include pay cuts, the end of pension contributions by the company, and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees now enjoyed by some veteran employees, said Daniel Totten, president of the Boston Newspaper Guild, the Globe's biggest union, which represents more than 700 editorial, advertising, and business office employees.

The concessions will be negotiated individually with each of the unions, said Totten and Ralph Giallanella, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 259, which represents about 200 drivers who deliver the newspaper.

"We all know the newspaper industry is going through great transition and loss,"' said Giallanella. "The ad revenues have fallen off the cliff. Just based on everything that's going on around the country, they're serious."

Totten said the Times Co. officials wanted the concessions within 30 days or else the paper would be shuttered, but Giallanella said officials did not mention a specific timetable.


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