The NYT Co. Loves All Unions...Except Their Own

The Boston Globe reports: "The New York Times Co. has threatened to shut the Boston Globe unless the newspaper's unions swiftly agree to $20 million in concessions, union leaders said."

The New York Times Company's flagship newspaper, The New York Times, is a strong supporter of unions against management, at leastwithin its news pages and self-righteous editorials. But when it comes to its own bottom line, the company is as self-interested as any of the corporations (like Wal-Mart) that its main newspaper loves to criticize. Employees of the Boston Globe, which is owned by NYT Co., are learning that now, as the company is playing hardball with the struggling newspaper it purchased in 1993.

From Friday's Globe:

The New York Times Co. has threatened to shut the Boston Globe unless the newspaper's unions swiftly agree to $20 million in concessions, union leaders said.

Executives from the Times Co. and Globe made the demands Thursday morning in an approximately 90-minute meeting with leaders of the newspaper's 13 unions, union officials said. The possible concessions include pay cuts, the end of pension contributions by the company and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees now enjoyed by some veteran employees, said Daniel Totten, president of the Boston Newspaper Guild, the Globe's biggest union, which represents more than 700 editorial, advertising and business office employees.


The Times Co. is seeking concessions from the union because the New York company, which is also suffering from the recession, can no longer subsidize the Globe's losses, said the Globe employee who requested anonymity because the person is not authorized to speak publicly. The Times Co. posted a net loss of $57.8 million in 2008.

The paper's executives wouldn't even talk to their own reporter, Richard Perez-Pena, about the sensitive issue:

The New York Times Company has threatened to close The Boston Globe unless labor unions agree to concessions like pay cuts and the cessation of pension contributions, according to a person briefed on the talks. The company is looking for $20 million in savings from The Globe, which has already gone through several rounds of deep cost-cutting and staff reductions. The company does not report figures by newspaper, but executives have acknowledged that the Globe lost tens of millions of dollars last year....The Times Company chairman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and Catherine J. Mathis, chief spokeswoman for the company, each declined to comment or confirm the article.

Boston Herald reporter Christine McConville reported on Sunday that Globe union officials are blaming NYT Co. management:

There's a mutinous mood on Morrissey Boulevard, as Boston Globe staffers lash out over a stunning ultimatum from parent company TheNew York TimesCo.

"They're nickel-and-diming people," said a Globe union official who spoke on condition of anonymity, adding that top executives at The New York Times Co., which owns the Globe, "have ruined" the sagging broadsheet.