Talks continue on Globe's fate as deadline nears
Boston Globe management has summoned the leaders of three of the newspaper's major unions to the site of ongoing negotiations with the Boston Newspaper Guild, telling them to be prepared to "enter negotiations or receive a message from the company," union officials said.
With just hours before a midnight deadline that could determine the future of the Boston Globe, the paper's owner, the New York Times Co, has yet to reach deals with any of the Globe's four major unions over $20 million dollars in total concessions it says it needs to keep operating the newspaper. The Times Co. has threatened to shutter the Globe unless it reaches agreement with the unions by midnight tonight.
The newspaper is projected to lose $85 million this year without significant cost reductions, according to the Times Co. The negotiations are taking place in Weymouth.
Martin Callaghan, president of the Boston Newspaper Printing Pressmen's Union Local 3, said he received the ominous call from Globe management earlier today and called an emergency meeting of the union's executive board. Yesterday, the pressmen and two other unions, Teamsters Local 259, which represents delivery truck drivers, Teamsters Local 1, which represents mailers, bargained for 16 hours before concluding at 3 a.m. today without reaching agreements.
Catherine Mathis, spokeswoman for the Times Co. declined comment on the status of negotiations.
Union officials have have said they have met, or are close to providing the financial concessions sought by the Times Co. But negotiations have become tangled by Times Co. demands for changes in contract language, such as the elimination of lifetime job guarantees for veteran members in some unions.
The Guild, pressmen and mailers unions have some members with lifetime job guarantees. No members of the drivers' union have such guarantees.Together the four major unions -- the Guild, pressmen, driver and mailers -- represent about 90 percent of union employees at the Globe.
The Times Co. is seeking $10 million from the Guild, $5 million from the mailers, $2.5 million from the drivers and $2.2 million from the pressmen.
Globe management today was locked in negotiations the Guild, which is the paper's largest and represents more than 600 editorial, advertising and business office workers. Whether the Times Co. makes good on it's closure threat now appears to turn on the outcome of talks with the Guild.
"The Boston Newspaper Guild has met what the New York Times Co. and Globe management said they needed by offering deep cuts in our members' pay and benefits," the statement said. "While final agreement will require further negotiations, the Guild enters today's talks having now offered tremendous sacrifices that should be more than adequate to save the Boston Globe."
Mathis declined comment on the statement
For previous coverage of the Globe negotiations, click here.
(By Robert Gavin, Globe Staff)