Union says it would be interested in a stake in Globe
The Boston Newspaper Guild said today that it is interested in becoming a partner and taking a stake in The Boston Globe should a buyer emerge for the newspaper.
Guild president Daniel Totten said the union would be interested in negotiating a deal with prospective buyers similar to the one in Portland, Maine. There, the Guild local and other unions at the Portland Press Herald made wage and benefit concessions to a buyer in exchange for a 15 percent stake in the company and seats on the board of directors.
The Globe reported today that The New York Times Co. is seeking bids on the newspaper, which it has owned since 1993. The Guild and the Times Co. are now locked in a bitter dispute over $10 million in wage and benefit cuts the company says it needs to keep operating the paper.
The Globe’s biggest union this week rejected a contract offer that would have spread the cuts among wages and benefits. The Times Co. soon after declared an impasse and will impose a 23 percent pay cut on Guild employees, starting Sunday. The Guild represents nearly 700 editorial, advertising, and business office workers.
‘‘We recognize that we are all facing difficult economic times and understand that any future owner of the Globe would require changes to our contract,’’ Totten said in a statement. ‘‘We would like to explore with any potential new owner the possibility of an equity stake in the newspaper for its Guild employees and would work with any ownership group to be a positive dynamic in any sale process.’’
Times Co. officials won’t comment on potential sales or divestitures of assets.
In a separate letter to Times Co. chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., Guild leaders called for the company to resume negotiations to help the prospects for selling the Globe.
‘‘For the Times Co. to be in a position of strength with regard to selling The Boston Globe, it will have to reach a fair wage agreement with the Boston Newspaper Guild,’’ the letter said, ‘‘one that forgoes the punitive action of cutting the wages of members by 23 percent. This will diminish the value of the paper by forcing the very best workers to go elsewhere.’’
(By Robert Gavin, Globe staff)