Magazine article Editor & Publisher

UPDATE: Sulzberger Responds to Appeal from 'Boston Globe' Reporters, Dialogue Develops

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

UPDATE: Sulzberger Responds to Appeal from 'Boston Globe' Reporters, Dialogue Develops

Article excerpt

New York Times Co. Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. responded to a letter sent by "concerned reports" of The Boston Globe after several days of back-and-forth volleys between the guild representing Globe employees and management.

On Monday, the Boston Globe guild narrowly voted down a $10 million proposal in cuts, which would have trimmed wages by 8% among other factors. The New York Times, which owns the Globe, then moved to slash wages 23% while the same time disclosed it was seeking potential buyer for the New England Media Group properties.

The letter from the reporters appealed to Sulzberger directly saying, "Despite all the rhetoric of the last few weeks, we believe you want to do the right thing -- that, at bottom, you're a mensch."

Sulzberger wrote in an e-mailed response reported by the Globe's Robert Gavin, that he had "hoped this would work out differently" but that the "guild's bargaining posture made that task impossible."

The response follows:


Thank you for your letter.

My colleagues and I share your concern for the Globe and those who work there, and I'm gratified by your recognition of that despite all that surrounds us. 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. We cannot allow that to happen, so we, regrettably, will implement the wage reduction.

Despite my great concern for what's happening at the Globe, all dealings on this subject must be with and through the Guild which, under law, is the employees' sole and exclusive bargaining representative. To that end, negotiators for the Globe have already advised the Guild that they are ready and willing to meet and plan to do so Monday. …

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