Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Extra! Globe bites off nose to spite face!

Well, I guess that'll show 'em! The Boston Newspaper Guild gave the Times the finger on Monday night, and so guaranteed its members a bigger pay cut than they would have gotten otherwise. And so (surprise, surprise) the Times has begun actively seeking buyers for the Globe.

Sounds like a win/win, doesn't it! Just to add a dash of unintentional humor to this stew, the Phoenix's Adam Reilly informs us that the union took aim at management, but shot itself in the foot, because the Times seemed "callous and aloof" during negotiations and "neither Arthur Sulzberger nor CEO Janet Robinson ever visited the Globe to express their regret" over the situation.

All together now: awwwwwwwww.

Well, the Newspaper Guild has certainly sent Schulzberger and Robinson a message, hasn't it, and that message is "Screw us faster and harder, please!" No doubt they'll be happy to oblige. The "poison pill" wage cut clause in those negotiations was obviously designed to signal something like "The Times will hang on to you guys for a 10% wage cut, but to sell your sorry ass, we'll have to cut your pay by 23%!" Whether or not the union membership was clever enough to decode that missive is an open question, I suppose. Or perhaps the Globe's writers decided they'd rather work for Rupert Murdoch, or some private equity firm, than the Times - and that they were willing to take a pay cut to make that happen. But I hope they don't imagine that new owners will re-institute that lost pay. Or that the federal courts will (in an industry that's bleeding red ink!).

But who knows? I guess we'll have to stay tuned - and I have to admit this particular show is getting funnier and funnier the longer it runs.

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