NYT Co: Globe could still close
In a rather...zesty email to my former Phoenix colleague Dan Kennedy, Globe reporter Brian Mooney--who's been urging his fellow Boston Newspaper Guild members to vote no this Monday--voices confidence that the Times Co. won't follow through on its threat to close the paper:
During the course of negotiations, the company has repeatedly engaged
in punitive, bad-faith bargaining and basically committed an act of
corporate terrorism with its threat to close the paper. They have
traumatized their own employees, their employees' families, and the
wider community that cares about and depends on this newspaper.
I think we've put to bed the notion that they can afford to make good on that threat, because the Times Company's own finances are so fragile, the cost of closing us would wreck the parent company. But the damage is done [emphasis added].
Earlier today, I'd asked Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis why, in the past week or two, everyone--including Globe publisher Steve Ainsley--has stopped talking about the Globe's possible closure. Right about the time I was reading Mooney's missive, I got this reply:
Closure is a very real path for the Company to take. We have said that we need to achieve $20 million in savings from our unions in Boston. At the end of the ratification process (the drivers vote on Sunday and the Guild votes on Monday), we need to have secured the full amount. With the Guild we have two different paths to achieve savings of $10 million. One, ratification of the contract. Two, implementation of a 23% wage reduction. The Guild seems to believe it can reject the contract, prevent implementation and thereby force further negotiation. That's not right. Time is of the essence [emphasis added].
Now, given her corporate role, Mathis sort of has to say that. Maybe the Guild will vote no, and the Globe will stay open, and Mooney will be proven right. But maybe the Guild will call the Times Co.'s bluff--and then discover that the Times Co. actually isn't bluffing.