Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.’s response to Boston Globe reporters seeking his intervention to ward off a 23 percent wage cut boils down to one word: No. He feels their pain, he doesn’t like the results of the Boston Newspaper Guild’s vote but his hands are tied. In the e-mail posted by the Globe, Sulzberger writes (via Romenesko):
“You are correct that I had hoped this would work out differently, and that a timely solution would be found for the Globe to achieve the necessary savings without Guild employees suffering a huge wage cut. Unfortunately, despite tireless efforts by Globe negotiators to do that just as they successfully did with each of the Globe’s other major unions, the Guild’s bargaining posture made that task impossible. We are now left with no alternative other than to proceed with the wage reduction. Without that, the Globe will be unable to effectuate the savings already ratified by its other unions, in which case it simply cannot survive.” (Emphasis added.)
As for his involvement, “all dealings on this subject must be with and through the Guild which, under law, is the employees’ sole and exclusive bargaining representative.”
Update: The reporters’ response: “Come to Boston.” From the letter posted on Romenesko:
“The purpose of our letter was not to substitute for negotiations but to appeal for your leadership, an appeal to find common ground. Many of us who have long admired your family and its legacy have yearned to hear from you directly, without the subterfuge of lawyers and legal posturing. Again, we believe you care deeply about the work we do, and we know you understand how vital it is to Boston. At the same time, we hope you appreciate the devastating consequences of a 23 percent pay cut – how it will completely upend the lives of those who have worked at the Globe for years, some of whom have literally risked their lives to report the news.”
What do they want? Parity in the cuts for management and union members.
At the rival Boston Herald, Joe Fitzgerald wonders “How in the world did 140 members of the Newspaper Guild at the Globe decide to take a pass on Monday