* Management threatens to file notice to close paper
* Union, management not talking now, talks may resume
* Deadline on Boston Globe concessions passed at midnight
(Updates with deadline passing, talks off but may resume)
By Robert MacMillan
NEW YORK, May 4 Talks between The Boston Globe
and its unions to prevent the U.S. newspaper from shutting down
stopped early Monday morning after a midnight deadline passed,
and it was unclear when they would resume.
An hour after the midnight deadline passed, negotiations
had broken down, but likely will resume sometime during the
night, a source familiar with the matter, but not authorized to
discuss it, told Reuters.
That source and another source familiar with the matter
indicated that the bargaining process likely will continue
throughout the night, and that word on a decision about what
will happen to the Globe will wait until after daybreak in the
Just before the deadline, the Globe's parent company, The
New York Times Co (NYT.N), ratcheted up the pressure on unions
at the Globe, threatening to close the paper within weeks if
they do not deliver big cost cuts.
The Times, the Globe's parent company, said it would file a
notice with the U.S. government on Monday that says it will
shut down the paper if it cannot get millions of dollars in
concessions from its unions.
It had set a Sunday midnight deadline for four unions to
find $20 million in cost cuts at the Globe. Earlier it had set
Friday as the deadline, but extended it after reporting
Saturday that it had made progress.
If the Globe's management and the unions fail to reach an
agreement, one of the most well known and largest U.S.
newspapers could close, leaving Boston without a daily,
full-service general newspaper of comparable size.
The 137-year-old Globe is a mainstay of New England news
consumers. The paper is the 17th largest in the United States
by daily paid circulation, according to the U.S. Audit Bureau
of Circulations. On Sundays, a day that many U.S. residents
spend reading their papers, it ranks 13th.
The Times said it would file notice under the Workers
Readjustment and Retraining Notification act, which requires 60
days advance notice before closing a business. The move is the
toughest pressure yet that the Times has applied.
"Filing the WARN notice is a difficult step that we would
like to avoid," said a statement issued by the Globe. "But,
unfortunately, given the state of the negotiations, it is one
we must be prepared to take."
The Globe was once one of the top U.S. papers in its scope,
with a strong international, national and local reporting staff
that rivaled that of the biggest U.S. dailies, including The
Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The New
In recent years it was forced to cut back on operations, as
advertising declines that have affected nearly every U.S.
hit the Globe particularly hard.
The Boston Newspaper Guild, the Globe's biggest union, said
earlier Sunday evening that it proposed cuts that exceed the
$10 million that the Times has demanded of it.
"This proposal was the product of arduous deliberations," a
guild statement said, calling its offers "tremendous
sacrifices." It declined to make details available until its
members had a chance to review them.
Negotiations have become tangled over some benefits that
the Times wants to erase, including some lifetime job
guarantees, the Globe reported on its website on Sunday.
Management has told the leaders of three of the paper's
major unions to "enter negotiations or receive a message from
the company," The Globe quoted union officials as saying in an
article on its website Sunday night.
The Boston Herald reported that large numbers of layoffs
could be on the table. The Guild, pressmen and mailers unions
have some members with lifetime job guarantees.
The Globe wants $10 million in concessions from the Boston
Newspaper Guild, its largest union, with the balance coming
from the others.
The Times said the paper would lose $85 million this year
and the cuts were essential to keeping the Globe open.
The guild said it is optimistic that the Times Co is
"genuinely committed to reaching agreement."
The Boston Newspaper Guild is one of the largest of about a
dozen unions at the Globe, and represents about 600 people in
editorial, advertising and other business roles.
While The Times and the union cited progress, the deadline
extension came after the union said the Times Co made a math
error that would result in the union having to make bigger
(Reporting by Robert MacMillan; Editing by Maureen Bavdek,
Richard Chang and Kim Coghill)