For years, I had a wonderful analogy for a conflict where I just wished both sides could lose. But with the Iran-Iraq war fading into history, I find myself needing a newer one, one that won’t pass over the heads of some younger readers.
This morning, I think I might have found one.
The Boston Globe (owned and operated by the New York Times) has been in trouble for years. Not only have they had a string of embarrassments, they’ve seen their subscriptions, readers, sales, and overall revenues fall off — far faster than the industry standard. They might be the “paper of record” of the Northeast, but that record’s getting a bit warped and skipping a lot.
(OK, another dated reference. Sue me — I’m feeling rather dated myself lately.)
And now they’re having more troubles.
To save money, they’re trying to cut down on labor costs. Their latest proposal to their unions involves some rather unpleasant financial conditions — for one, they want to freeze the corporate contributions to health care, meaning any and all rate hikes will be borne by the employees entirely. They also have been out-sourcing more jobs and dividing up duties among fewer employees.
The union isn’t happy, and they’ve decided that their latest tactic is to follow the newspaper’s ideal and start spreading their own news about the negotiations.
The Boston Newspaper Guild vs. The New York Times’ New England branch… I don’t know who will win, but I’m enjoying the hell out of the fight.