The Boston Globe sale process can start in earnest now that the paper’s largest union finally has agreed to a new deal. Members of the Newspaper Guild voted by a wide 366-to-179 margin to accept a new package worth $10 million in cuts to pay and benefits, part of the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) Co.‘s demand that the paper’s unions give up $20 million in concessions or face the Globe“s possible closure. The"yes” vote follows a narrow loss last month for a package that also totaled $10 million but took more out of paychecks. When that vote failed, the company imposed an immediate pay cut of nearly 23 percent; this agreement includes a provision to make up some of those lost wages.
Earlier this month, banker Goldman Sachs, hired by NYTCo to shop the Globe and other New England assets, told prospective buyers that bids for the paper would be postponed until after the vote; the potential bidders were concerned about the possible confusion if the Guild voted down this proposal, too.
Dan Totten, the executive director of the Guild, raised the sale issue in his post-vote statement (via the Globe): “It has been a long and difficult period for everyone, and we hope that we can now work with prospective buyers to help The Boston Globe and boston.com to carry on with its vital mission to promote good journalism and protect free speech.
—Boston Globe statement: “We are very pleased that the members of the Boston Newspaper Guild ratified their agreement. With this vote, all of the Globes major union contracts are now settled. We deeply appreciate the sacrifices that Guild members are making to help sustain The Boston Globes mission of delivering high-quality journalism to the greater Boston community.”
By Staci D. Kramer