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The Boston Globe and Pressmen Union Reach Nine-Year Labor Agreement

Press release from the issuing company

BOSTON--Nov. 10, 2003-- The Boston Globe and Boston Newspaper Printing Pressmen's Union No. 3 jointly announced today the ratification of a new nine-year labor agreement. The Pressmen's Union, which represents some 190 pressmen, voted yesterday afternoon in favor of the agreement covering the years 2002 through 2010. The parties' agreement is the result of several months of intensive negotiations by the Globe and the Union, and assisted by federal mediation. "This long-term labor agreement provides job protection and excellent benefits for our pressroom employees while addressing the critical long term needs of the Globe to have staffing at a competitive level and to gain more operating flexibility for our ever changing market. Both negotiating committees worked very hard, including many late nights, at resolving some extremely complex issues and arrived at a collaborative result that we believe suits both the Globe's and the employees' needs," said Gregory L. Thornton, senior vice president of Employee Relations and Operations. Martin Callaghan, President of the Pressmen's Union commented, "These were difficult negotiations, however, the Union and the Globe were able to reach a resolution that addressed many of the member's concerns, as well as any agreement in the newspaper business has, while addressing the Globe's competitive needs." The new contract provides the same pattern wage increases of $19/week retroactive to January 1, 2002, $10/week effective January 1, 2003, $10/week effective July 1, 2003, $11/week effective January 1, 2004 and $10/week effective July 1, 2004 as already agreed upon by nine of the Globe's other unions. There are wage re-openers in 2005 and 2008. The Globe obtained key changes in the new contract with regard to reduced production staffing and greater operating flexibility that will produce significant escalating savings to the newspaper over the term of the agreement and beyond. In exchange for those changes, the agreement provides for yearly escalating quid pro quo payments throughout the contract, and thereafter. These payments will be used to cover costs in non-wage benefit areas such as pension, health and welfare and other benefits. There are also one-time lump sum bonus payments to be paid during the agreement for each level of manning reductions. The contract provides job protection for an additional twenty pressmen who would have been impacted by the manning reductions. All reductions in staff will be handled by attrition and/or voluntary buyouts. Over time, the manning reductions contained in the pact will allow the Globe to staff itself competitively as benchmarked with other major leading metro newspapers in the country and will reduce the overall pressroom staff by about one-third through attrition. The agreement also provides greater scheduling flexibility and introduces light duty work in an effort to help mitigate workers compensation costs and transition injured employees back to full duty. The Globe has now reached agreement with 10 of its 12 unions. Two contracts remain; one with the Mailers, who handle the packaging of inserts and the other with the Guild, which represent reporters, editors and advertising and circulation sales employees.