Just a few months after agreeing to a renegotiated contract The Boston Globe‘s largest union is seeking to replace the union leadership that saw them through this summer’s dispute with the paper’s owner, The New York Times Co.
The Globe reports today that some of the Boston Newspaper Guild’s members have started circulating a petition to remove the union’s seven-member executive committee, including its president Dan Totten.
“There’s a feeling that the executive committee has made a bad situation worse,” Globe copy editor and union delegate Tim Flynn told his paper.
Earlier this year, guild was the only Globe union to reject a new contract that offered deep cuts in return for keeping the paper alive. After the guild rejected the Times Co.’s proposal on June 8 by a 277 to 265 vote, and the Globe‘s owner instead instituted a 23 percent unilateral pay cut to all guild members.
The two sides then entered into negotiations in the hopes of quickly finalizing a deal that would minimize the effects of the pay cut on union members. In July, the union voted in favor of the proposed cuts, which looked very similar to the Times Co.’s original offer.
As the Times Co. decides whether to sell the Globe and to whom, union leadership, particularly that of the paper’s largest union, may play an increasingly large role in defining the needs of the paper’s employees. And if the union is unhappy with the leadership’s work thus far, it makes sense to speak out now before the paper is sold off to a new owner.
According to the Globe, if 20 percent of the 650 editorial, advertising and business workers represented by the guild sign the petition, a meeting will be called. A majority vote of members present at that meeting could prompt a recall election.
Globe union members seek election –Boston Globe