Boston Globe management said today that it won't file a plant closing notice required to shutter the newspaper after reaching cost saving agreements with six of seven unions involved in negotiations for concessions.
"We expect to achieve both the workplace flexibility, and the financial savings that we sought from these unions," said Globe spokesman Robert Powers. "We are not , therefore, making a filing today" under the federal plant closing law. The law requires companies to give 60-days notice to the state and employees before closing a business.
Globe management last night said it would file the plant closing notice as it approached a midnight deadline to reach agreement with four of the paper's major unions. The Globe's owner, The New York Times Co., early last month threatened to close the Globe unless it gained $20 million in concessions from the newspaper's unions. The Globe is projected to lose $85 million this year with significant cost savings, according to the Times Co.
The Globe has agreements with unions representing delivery truck drivers, mailers, press operators, electricians, machinists and technical services workers. The agreements still must be ratified by a vote of members in each unions.
The lone hold-out is the Boston Newspaper Guild, which represents more than 600 editorial, advertising and commercial workers. Guild leaders left talks today without a deal, with the elimination of lifetime job guarantees enjoyed by about 190 members said to be a key issue separating the two sides. Leaders in unions with similar job guarantees have made concessions on the issue, but declined to release details.
Powers said management was disappointed that it couldn't reach a deal with the Guild.
"We are evaluating our alternatives under both the Guild contract and applicable law to achieve as quickly as possible the workplace flexibility and remaining cost savings that we need to help put the Globe on a sound footing."
Guild officials this morning said they have negotiated in good faith, and presented a proposal of pay and benefit cuts that met would have provided the $10 million in concessions sought from the union. The company, however, rejected it. “It’s the same bullying and pressure tactics," said Guild president Daniel Totten.
(By Robert Gavin, Globe staff)