- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NEW YORK | The Boston Globe’s largest union voted by a nearly 2-to-1 margin Monday to approve pay cuts and other concessions that would save the 137-year-old paper $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 Monday.

The agreement ended more than three months of bad blood between the union and the Globe, which 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 also will 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. The Times Co. likely will try to find a buyer for the Globe, which it said probably would book an $85 million operating loss this year, absent $20 million in savings that it sought from its unions.

Three potential bidders have expressed interest in the paper, including Stephen Pagliuca, a managing director at private equity firm Bain Capital and co-owner of the Boston Celtics basketball team.

The Times Co. paid $1.1 billion in 1993 to buy the Globe. Now, its value, according to analysts, ranges from as high as $250 million to zero.

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