Former Boston Herald union official Tom Mashberg has some advice for union folks at the Boston Globe, based on his experience with the Herald’s own brutal downsizing:
[F]rom 2005 through 2007, we struggled as a team to make the terms work. There was pain — many people abandoned beloved careers in print, and many devoted trade- and craft-union employees saw their work disappear entirely. But the same goal was shared by union members and the front office: Provide decent buyouts for the departing, spread the pain of pay cuts across all ranks of labor and management, and act in good faith.
One major difference to which Mashberg (who’s now the Herald’s Sunday editor as well as a former Globe staff member) alludes: Herald owner Pat Purcell universally wins high marks for being open with his employees.
I haven’t always been a fan of the way Purcell has run the Herald (though he certainly deserves credit for keeping it alive). But the secrecy-obsessed New York Times Co. could learn much from the way Purcell has kept the lines of communication humming.