We Make

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An open letter to Boston Globe management

Dear John and Linda,

When you bought our newspaper in 2013, you rescued it from absentee owners who had no true commitment to our city and our region.

You came in with a vision for continuing the Boston Globe’s great tradition of journalism, expressed admiration and respect for the legacy of our publication, and, most importantly, gave us all hope and optimism, feelings we had not experienced in years.

We were grateful. We have always been grateful to work in an industry that even in the best of times is competitive and difficult. And we were heartened to have owners who recognized the value of the excellent journalism Globe employees had given its readers for decades.

Since your stewardship began, Globe reporters have won four Pulitzers and have been finalists for the prize nine times.

One of our Pulitzers went for our coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, when the staff worked through nights and weekends and came back from vacation and maternity leave to respond to the tragedy.

We have exposed corruption. We have led the conversation in this city about nearly every important issue facing it from race relations to the arts to education.

We have done our part to keep this paper relevant and strong amid attrition, buyouts and layoffs.

And we have continued to keep hope alive in the leadership, even as our concerns about the future multiplied.

Now, we are in the midst of negotiations led by a mercenary law firm that is trying to bully your employees into a contract that essentially asks them to give up their rights as union members. These tactics are threatening to destroy the long-standing, constructive and respectful relationship between the Guild and management. This approach to collective bargaining has also stoked feelings of deep anger and even betrayal among employees. It is doomed to fail.

We are being pushed to agree to layoffs out of seniority, to give up our right to grieve abusive management practices, to do away with overtime – a practice management already has ample ability to control – and to take away salary steps, which currently give new and young employees guaranteed raises the longer they stay with the company.

We are being told that to get modest wage increases and a 401K match that the company can take away at any point, we must agree to a contract that no respectable union could ever accept.

We ask you to tell your managers to put a stop to these tactics.

We know you want this great institution to survive. So do we.

Shortly after you bought the Globe you wrote in our pages: “Make no mistake: The Boston Globe will survive. There is too much talent at the paper, too much passion among its readers and advertisers, too glorious a history, and too great a need for its journalism, to ever think otherwise.”

The strong-arm tactics the managers are using will drive away that talent and will undermine that history we know you both treasure.

We ask for your help getting a fair contract that values and respects the talented, dedicated, hardworking employees who make the Globe the institution that it is. We want to keep this newspaper vibrant. Our members are determined to fulfill your vision. We need your help to achieve this goal.

In hope and solidarity,
The Executive Committee of the Boston Newspaper Guild

How to help

Please tell company management that you support the journalists, advertising professionals, and technicians who bring you the news.

John Henry, publisher

Linda Pizzuti Henry, managing director

Vinay Mehra, president
(617) 929-2989

Brian McGrory, editor
(617) 929-3059