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Boston Globe's owner reportedly gives unions an ultimatum

New York Times Co. executives want $20 million in concessions from workers or they will shut down the newspaper, union leaders said.

April 04, 2009|Associated Press

BOSTON — New York Times Co. executives have threatened to shut down the Boston Globe if the newspaper's employees don't agree quickly to $20 million in concessions, union leaders said Friday.

Executives from the New York company, which owns the Globe, met this week with leaders of the newspaper's 13 unions, the Globe reported.

Boston Newspaper Guild President Daniel Totten said the concessions could include pay cuts, the end of company pension contributions and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees. The Guild is the Globe's biggest union, representing more than 700 employees.

Globe Publisher Steve Ainsley and a Times Co. spokeswoman declined to comment.

"We all know the newspaper industry is going through great transition and loss," said Ralph Giallanella, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 259, which represents about 200 drivers who deliver the Globe. "The ad revenues have fallen off the cliff. Just based on everything that's going on around the country, they're serious."

In recent months, several papers have shut down or moved to online-only operations. Some newspaper companies have filed for bankruptcy protection, including Chicago-based Tribune Co., publisher of the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and other papers.

The Globe has had several rounds of layoffs and buyouts and reportedly lost tens of millions of dollars last year.

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