Yesterday the Globe's main union rejected a proposal from its parent company, the New York Times, that would've resulted in 10% employee pay cuts. The Times then announced a 23% pay cut instead, which slightly upset the Globe's union.
So today union leaders filed a complaint with federal regulators challenging the unilateral pay cut and called on the Times and the Globe to resume negotiations to avoid having it instituted. Union members, many of them apparently believing going into Monday's vote that the Times was bluffing with their threats of a 23% cut if the proposal wasn't ratified, were delivered the bad news at a union meeting on Tuesday night.
Union members tried to absorb the prospect of a steep drop in salary, and many of them emerged from a guild meeting Tuesday night resigned to the idea that it would happen, at least for a while, until their case is heard by the National Labor Relations Board. Many guild members had said before the vote that the company was bluffing about the pay cut, or that the union could stop it from taking effect.
"People went into the meeting hoping to hear there was a way to stop the cut from going into effect, and we came out pretty doubtful," Maria Cramer, a reporter, said.
As pointed out yesterday by our Hamilton Nolan, the Globe's union members seemed to have royally screwed themselves by rejecting the Times' proposal, leaving them with little more now than a) having to swallow having a quarter of their pay taken away from them, or b) handcuffing Times' management with extensive legal proceedings which would force them to close the paper altogether, putting them all out of work.
Guild members' reactions were subdued, and many of them said the mood was more of fear and anxiety than anger.
Any feelings of "fear and anxiety" in Boston on a night when the Red Sox shut out the Yankees says quite a lot.
UPDATE: The Boston Globe is reporting tonight that the Times has hired an investment bank to solicit bids from potential Globe buyers over the next couple of weeks, a move they'd reportedly been planning long before Monday night's union vote.