Printer Friendly Format

Labor Guild hosts Globe contract negotiations

By Donis Tracy Pilot Correspondent
Posted: 5/8/2009

Print Friendly and PDF

The Labor Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston, housed on the grounds of Sacred Heart Parish in Weymouth, was the site of recent contract negotiations between the ownership and unions of The Boston Globe. Pilot photo/ Antonio M. Enrique

WEYMOUTH -- While negotiations between the Boston Globe and its unions have dominated local headlines and newscasts for the past week, many may not know that the fate of the Boston daily is being decided on Church property.

The Labor Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston, located in a building owned by Sacred Heart Parish in Weymouth, has been hosting the negotiations since they began early last week.

“I’ve heard people, such as Howie Carr, ask what our involvement is in these negotiations,” said Paul Hannon, interim director for the Labor Guild. “The simple answer is that we are not involved at all.”

According to Hannon, the Labor Guild was chosen to be the setting for the labor talks because, “we provided a place where everyone felt comfortable.”

The Labor Guild, which is adjacent to Sacred Heart Church, has provided private rooms for each of the labor unions and the Boston Globe’s parent company, The New York Times Co. They also have provided a general session room for discussions and are providing any technical support that either party may have, such as access to business equipment.

“The talks themselves take place behind closed doors,” Hannon said. “We are completely impartial to their negotiations.”

This is not the first time that the Boston Globe has chosen the Labor Guild to host their union negotiations, Hannon added.

“The Globe has been coming here for years,” he said.

Hannon also noted that other unions, such as the steelworkers union, have used their facilities to stave off possible strikes through negotiations.

The Labor Guild, which was founded over 60 years ago, is an ecumenical organization sponsored by the Archdiocese of Boston. A membership organization of more than 1300 labor relations activists including labor union officers and members, arbitrators, corporate staff, mediators, and attorneys, the Labor Guild promotes healthy employee relations.

In addition to being a facility for arbitration and negotiation, the Guild also houses the School of Labor Relations, the oldest continuing labor education center in New England.