Peter Kafka

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New York Times: We Won’t Have to Shutter the Boston Globe After All

The New York Times, which had threatened to shut down the Boston Globe unless that paper’s unions agreed to major concessions, says it got what it needed from the Globe’s workers after all.

One exception: The Globe’s unionized editorial employees, who have yet to come to terms with the paper’s owner. The Times makes ominous sounds about what might happen–“evaluating our alternatives”–but nothing specific.

Last night, the Times said it was ready to file a so-called WARN Act announcing that it would shutter the Globe in 60 days unless it got the concessions it was looking for. At the outset of negotiations with the unions, the New York Times Co. (NYT) said it needed $20 million worth of cuts to keep the paper afloat; it claims the Globe, which it purchased for $1.1 billion in 1993, is on track to lost $85 million this year.

Here’s the release:

We are very pleased to have reached agreements with six of the seven unions that were involved in recent negotiations. This includes agreements with the drivers, mailers, pressmen, the electricians, machinists, and technical services group. As a result of these agreements, which are subject to ratification by union members, we expect to achieve both the workplace flexibility and the financial savings that we sought from these unions. We are not, therefore, making a filing today under the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. We appreciate the productive and cooperative approach demonstrated by the leadership of these unions throughout these difficult negotiations.

We are disappointed, however, that we have not yet been able to reach an agreement with the Guild. Because of that, we are evaluating our alternatives under both the Guild contract and applicable law to achieve as quickly as possible the workplace flexibility and remaining cost savings we need to help put The Globe on a sound financial footing.


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