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Parsing BoMag's Totten profile

In this month's Boston magazine, Jason Schwartz has what will probably be the definitive profile of Dan Totten, the embattled head of the Boston Newspaper Guild.

The whole piece is worth a read--but I was most interested in the lede. In it, Schwarz has Totten arguing, emphatically, that the Guild's members shouldn't vote for the Times Co.'s current contract proposal:

"What's been put before us is completely unacceptable," [Totten] says. "And I think people are ready, willing, and able to do something on that matter....

"If we could just get back to the table, I hope [the Times Co.] could see that it was just an unacceptable proposal," he says. "I know they can do better, they should do better, they have an obligation to do better."

Why is this significant? Because, just a few weeks ago, Totten seemed to be promising that the Guild's leadership would neither endorse nor condemn the proposal in question:

Union leaders do not plan to recommend for or against its ratification....

"We have a proposal to bring before members of The Boston Newspaper Guild," Guild president Daniel Totten said in a note to members e-mailed yesterday. "Since each member is the final authority on contract matters, it is imperative that we bring a proposal forward that will ultimately be voted on by the entire membership."

 That's quite a shift.

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