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Summary:

The Boston Globe and its largest union went back to the table Tuesday, finally reaching an agreement in the wee hours Wednesday that appears…

imageThe Boston Globe and its largest union went back to the table Tuesday, finally reaching an agreement in the wee hours Wednesday that appears to include changes to the so-called lifetime guarantee for 190 employees. Some details are leaking out, despite promises from management and the Boston Newspaper Guild to keep it quiet until the union can present the deal to its members Thursday.

According to the Globe, citing a person briefed on the negotiations, the concessions the Guild will vote on Thursday amount to a 10 percent wage cut — 8.5 percent in salary and an additional unpaid five-day furlough. Some pension contributions will be frozen, 401K contributions will stop and the company wins on eliminating the job guarantees.

The Globe (which has done a good job with the tough task of covering itself) reports that Guild members were warned before a deal was reached that a “large layoff” was likely no matter the outcome. The Guild was told by the company in early April that it had to come up with half of the $20 million in concessions needed to keep the paper open; the union said it offered slightly more than the $10 million required. But the company countered with a 23 percent wage cut and a demand for changes in job security. Currently, roughly one-third of the Guild’s 600 members can be fired only for cause, not laid off for economic reasons.

So, what does it mean?

The Boston Globe isn

  1. The only reason NYT did not file the closure paperwork and why the unions conceded is to present a cleaner picturer for potential buyers. The Globe is by no means off death watch.

    I don't think there is a newspaper out there with the exception of WSJ that anyone would consider a potential investment, unless they could get it for about .10 cents on the dollor.

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  2. Staci D. Kramer Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    Josh — I don't think the Globe is off death watch either but I still don't see anything immediate under current circumstances.

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  3. The NYT cleared some rubble out of the way to save what it could, probably boston.com. They are only doing what all organizations, including govt ones, will need to do with unpayable benefits. The difference between the Globe, Circuit City and Chrysler, is that the Globe was #1 and CC a shaky #2 and Chrysler #3. If the NYT had done this during the election, McCain might have won. Even the great liberal bastion was caught up in the economics of our time. So everyone else would be. All three companies shared marketing issues: Younger people don't read papers; online news thought to be more reliable than newspapers; Chyrsler moved from # 3 out of 3 to one of 10 to 20 car companies Americans bought from regularly, and CC was only the latest failure in the electronics business (CompUSA, Computer City, and many others fell down recently; BBY is down even with CC out).

    The real deal here is Boston people are not interested enough to save the Globe; it has passed its time of that importance. Either way, the paper as a paper is over, now or in the near future; the online version may or may not continue.

    At the same time, truly local papers in the 128/495 belt in particular, are doing well, reporting more news, and being more news v. editorial oriented.

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