Union leader blasts Globe's parent for 'threats'
The head of The Boston Globe’s largest union blasted The New York Times Co. for ‘‘threats, bullying and negotiating at gunpoint’’ as rank-and-file union members face a crucial vote Monday on whether to accept a company proposal that would slash pay and benefits by $10 million.
In a letter to members, Daniel Totten, president of the Boston Newspaper Guild, said Times Co. management has yet to take their fair share of cuts to help right the money-losing Globe. The Times Co. proposal would cut members pay by about 10 percent, slice healthcare and retirement benefits, and eliminate lifetime job guarantees for some veteran employees.
The company has also threatened a 23 percent across-the-board pay cut if members fail to ratify the proposal, Totten said.
Noting that other local media companies have imposed higher pay cuts on managers than rank-and-file, he sharply criticized Times Co. management for not sufficiently sharing the pain of the crisis. For example, he said, nonunion managers received bonuses earlier this year while most Guild members have gone four years without a pay raise.
‘‘That’s one way to cope with such a challenge — sharing the pain and being a true partner with workers,’’ Totten said. ‘‘It’s just not the Times Co.’s way. Instead they have created fear among the rank and file, and displayed favor for special interests of management.’’
In a statement, Globe spokesman Robert Powers said:
"We strongly hope that the Guild members will ratify the proposed contract. But we need to be clear. Our financial situation is untenable and we will take the steps necessary to achieve the needed cost savings. They are vital to the health and well-being of The Globe and our top priority is to ensure the Globe continues to serve the Boston community with high-quality journalism."
(Robert Gavin, Globe staff)