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Boston vs. New York (Continued)

If you thought last night's Red Sox-Yankees game took forever (because of a rain delay), you haven't kept up with the marathon negotiations between the unions of the Boston Globe and New York Times Co.

Talks broke off yesterday morning after management rejected the "last, best offer" from the guild. The company didn't follow through on a threat to file a plant closing notice with the state, as it's apparently confident that a deal will be reached. It has an agreement with every union except the guild, which represents the newsroom.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume at 5 p.m. today. The sticking point now is the guild's insistence to keep the "lifetime guarantee" intact. Management so far has not been willing to budge.

There may be some dissension growing out of the ranks as the Boston Herald disclosed that Dan Totten, the guild's lead negotiator, has seen his pay increase by 12 percent over the past three years. "I think it's unconscionable that union leadership is not suffering the same cuts that we are," said one guild member who has seen the filings and didn't want to be identified.

Meanwhile, the New York Times didn't stop negotiating in the Big Apple. Yesterday, the Times' own staff agreed to a 5% paycut, effective immediately. This deal saves the Times from trimming 80 jobs for now, but does not rule out future layoffs.

At least in this case, the New Yorkers proved to be more of a pushover than Bostonians. But the fact that the paper from its biggest rival city owns the Globe has been a sore spot in Beantown since the Times acquired it in 1993:

Boston residents have long resented the takeover of the Globe by a company based in New York, with which the region competes in sports, banking and cultural bragging rights. ...

"From the moment the Times Co. purchased The Globe in 1993, it has treated New England's largest newspaper like a cheap whore," former Globe columnist Eileen McNamara wrote last month in the Herald. "It pimped her out for profit during the booming 1990s and then pillaged her when times got tough. It closed her foreign bureaus and cheapened her coverage of everything from the fine arts to the hard sciences."

Yes, she said "cheap whore."