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Boston Globe's Guild Says Its Cuts Exceed NYT's Demand

This article is more than 10 years old.

At least a few of the newspaper's 13 unions are apparently moving closer to a deal with The New York Times Co., which bought the Globe in 1993.

The Boston Newspaper Guild, the paper's largest union, said it had found the $10 million in cuts the Times Co. said was necessary to avoid a shutdown. The concessions include an estimated 5 percent cut in wages for its 600 members. The Times Co. had demanded a total of $20 million in wage and benefit cuts from the Globe's employee unions.

In a statement released two hours before a midnight deadline Sunday, the Guild said its proposal calls for "tremendous sacrifices, across virtually all categories of compensation and benefits."

It was unclear whether the Globe's other unions had made proposals for the remaining $10 million in cuts.

The Times co. would not comment on the Guild's proposal.
"We have not reached an agreement. The deadline is midnight tonight," Times Co. spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said in an e-mail.

The deadline for an agreement was initially set for May 1, but Guild leaders asked for an extension after discovering what they called a $4.5 million accounting error. They said ownership mistakenly was counting the salaries and benefits of 80 people who have left their jobs at the Globe since the beginning of the year.

"We have given the New York Times Co. and Globe management proposals for deep cuts in our members' pay and benefits that we believe will save The Boston Globe," Daniel Totten, Guild president, said in a statement. "We are awaiting the company's response."

The concessions sought by the Times Co. could include pay cuts, a reduction in pension contributions and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees for some senior employees. Those guarantees state that the staffers cannot be let go without cause.

The Globe, like many newspapers, is struggling with declines in circulation and advertising. The Globe's operations lost $50 million last year and are projected to lose $85 million this year.

The Times Co. announced in April that it would close the Globe unless the concessions were met.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This program aired on May 3, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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