NYT, union agree on pay cuts

UNIONS have yielded to management at the New York Times and agreed that staff should accept 5 percent pay cuts in order to prevent more redundancies.

The New York Times, which currently carries more than US$1.1 billion in debt, said that ongoing losses by many of its newspapers, including the Boston Globe, meant action to reduce wages was the only way to save jobs.

To illustrate the depth of the issue, the Boston Globe is forecast to lose US$85 million this year. Times management is asking the paper to make only US$20 million in cuts. It has threatened to shut the paper if that goal is not achieved.

A Reuters report overnight said members of the Newspaper Guild of New York would need to approve the agreement before it could be implemented.

Those who are not union members have already had their weekly pay packet reduced.

The union had demanded that Times management guarantee there would be no further job losses, but company executives refused.

Times shares are currently trading just under US$5, which represents a fall of 75 percent in the last 12 months and is a long way from its all-time high of US$50.

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