The Boston Globe lost $50 million last year. It's projected to lose $85 million this year. So the New York Times Co. asked the newsroom to accept a package of cutbacks. Yesterday, they voted "no." Now they're really getting screwed.
The union voted 277-265 to reject management's proposal—about a 10% pay cut, the end of "lifetime employment" guarantees and retirement contributions, and other small cutbacks. Therefore, the company plans to immediately institute 23% pay cuts.
Those in the newsroom that voted against the deal appear to be under the impression that the NYT Co. is "bluffing" when it comes to that 23% pay cut. That does not appear to be the case though!
Best case scenario, for the union: The company decides it's too much of a hassle to fight out the huge pay cuts (which will be legally challenged) and goes back to the bargaining table and offers the union a better deal. Doubtful!
Medium case scenario: Everyone's pay is cut by 23%. Pretty likely!
Worst case scenario: The union turns the pay cuts into a lengthy court battle that paralyzes management's ability to cut costs and ends up forcing the NYT Co. to close the paper altogether. Quite possible, now!
Newspaper life's a bitch these days. But it won't take too long before the Globe newsroom starts to think that the deal they just rejected doesn't sound so bad, compared to what's coming.
[Romenesko. Pic: AP]