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Globe union accepts pay cuts

THE Boston Globe's largest union voted by a nearly 2-to-1 margin on Monday to approve pay cuts and other concessions that would save the 137-year-old paper US$10 million a year and allow The New York Times Co to sell it.

The Boston Newspaper Guild voted 366-179 in favor of the cuts.

"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 carry on with its vital mission to promote good journalism and protect free speech," guild President Dan Totten said in a statement on Monday.

The agreement ended more than three months of bad blood between the union and the Globe.

The Times Co had threatened to close the daily, one of the largest and most respected in the United States, if it could not get the concessions.

"We deeply appreciate the sacrifices that guild members are making to help sustain The Boston Globe's mission of delivering high-quality journalism to the greater Boston community," Globe spokesman Robert Powers said in an e-mailed statement.

Under the terms of the deal, union members will take a 5.94 percent salary cut and other benefits will be scaled back. They will also be subject to unpaid furloughs and a pension freeze. Some members will lose lifetime job guarantees.

Union members in June rejected a previous agreement, which would have cut pay by more than 8 percent. The Globe responded by threatening to cut pay by about 23 percent before negotiations resumed on the new package.

The guild is the last and largest of several unions to agree to the cuts. With its agreement in hand, the Times Co likely will try to find a buyer for the Globe, which it said probably would book an US$85 million operating loss this year, absent US$20 million in savings that it sought from its unions.


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