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Labor Expert: Globe Union, Times Can’t Afford Lengthy Legal Battle

This article is more than 10 years old.

The labor dispute at New England’s largest newspaper, the Boston Globe, may be just beginning. Despite two months of pressure from the Boston Globe’s owner, The New York Times Co., the largest union at the newspaper on Monday rejected a package of concessions designed to save $10 million.

The Boston Newspaper Guild, which represents about 700 news, advertising and business workers at the Globe, wants to resume negotiations. But the Times Co. says it has no choice but to follow through on its threat to cut guild members’ wages by 23 percent.

Professor Tom Kochan of MIT’s Sloan School of Management spoke with us about what’s ahead for the newspaper.

Bob Oakes: The Guild has offered to resume contract negotiations, to find another way to achieve the $10 million in savings The New York Times wants. Do you think there’s much of a chance of talks resuming?

Tom Kochan: Well, both parties really have an incentive to go back to the table, given that the vote was so close — a 12-vote difference. It’s clear there are many, many members of the guild who want to go back to the table and get a deal. It’s also clear that while the Globe can impose this 23-percent wage reduction, it’s not certain that the National Labor Relations Board will approve that decision in the end.

This program aired on June 9, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Bob Oakes Twitter Host, Morning Edition
Bob Oakes has been WBUR's Morning Edition anchor since 1992.

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