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Boston Globe Averts Shutdown

At the end, the guild caved.

The Boston Globe's largest union reached a tentative agreement with management just after 3 a.m. today, the last of the paper's unions to sign off on concessions to the parent New York Times Co. The guild, which represents the newsroom, agreed to a substantial pay cut and unpaid furloughs, but more importantly, it finally allowed for modifications to the lifetime job guarantee provisions. The guild's previous insistence to keep the guarantee whole had caused the negotiations to reach an impasse.

Neither side released much details on the new agreement, which is still pending a vote by the union members. But the deal should be enough to lift the New York Times Co.'s threat to shut down the Globe. The company had set a May 1 deadline, extended it to May 3, before reaching agreements with all unions.

The NYT Co. won hard concessions, totaling $20 million, from the unions. But its problems at the Globe may not be over for a long while. The paper is expected to lose $85 million this year. And the threat of shutting down the Globe may have an adverse effect on the paper's circulation, which has dwindled steadily since the company bought it in 1993 for $1.1 billion.