Boston Globe union votes down pay cuts, New York Times faces choice

Many of the members of the Newspaper Guild, which represents editorial employees at the Boston Globe, said that they would vote against a proposal to allow the paper's parent, the New York Times Company (NYT), to take away some of their compensation and benefits.

As it turned out, there were enough dissenters to vote the entire package mandated by management down.

The company and union now face a stand-off that could still force the closing of the paper. The New York Times says it will force pay cuts of 23 percent on Guild members. The union will probably take the issue to the National Labor Relations Board and perhaps to court.

If the situation with the union gets sticky enough, the Times could close the Boston paper. Many industry observers believe that NYT, home of great print journalism, will not shutter an icon like the Globe. Other observers believe that the Times loses too much money to keep Boston open.

The Times is short on cash -- very short if it continues to lose money. If the union wants to keep causing trouble, the Globe gets closed.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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