When I saw the headline on Boston.com saying the Boston Newspaper Guild, the Boston Globe’s largest union, had rejected a package of cuts, I was shocked.
In a nutshell, the Globe was informed by its owner, the NY Times, it had to make an astronomical amount of cuts in order to survive. The three other unions passed cuts. Not the Boston Newspaper Guild. The reaction from the NYT is 23 percent wage cuts.
Understandably, reporters and other members of the guild have been upset with the package. By a slim margin, it was voted down by a 277 to 265 vote. What does this really mean for the future of the paper? I never thought the union would vote this down. In a time when it seems like papers have to agree to substantial cuts in pay and staff or else, it is almost refreshing to see a union stand up against the corporate owner. That doesn’t mean I think it was the best decision- 23 percent is a huge pay cut. But at least the members stood up for their beliefs.
On Poynter, Rick Edmonds writes a column about what’s next for the Globe. He doesn’t see the paper being sold anytime soon. And what about it closing?
[Times Co. spokeswoman Catherine ] Mathis reiterated to me last week, as she has told other reporters, that a shutdown remains a possibility and that the company has no inclination to start over on the Guild negotiation. If the troubles escalate (a strike, say, though that has not been threatened) to the point that The New York Times newspaper is threatened, I think the shutdown scenario is plausible.
Many people, including myself, are anxiously waiting to see what happens.