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Pro-union stunt angers Globe management

The Boston Globe newsroom is buzzing over a pro-union stunt pulled recently by business reporter Jeffrey Krasner — a stunt that, as the Phoenix went to press, appeared likely to result in his being punished.

It seems that sometime on Friday, August 22, Krasner — who worked at the Boston Herald and the now-defunct New England edition of the Wall Street Journal before moving to the Globe a few years ago — placed a sign he had made protesting bogged-down contract negotiations on a part of his desk that could be seen in the background of the newsroom television studio.

The sign — which reportedly said OUR WORKPLACE, UNRAVELING DAILY (a spoof on the Globe’s ad campaign, YOUR WORLD, UNFOLDING DAILY) — was broadcast over New England Cable News, which has a content partnership with the Globe.

Krasner declined to comment, as did Globe editor Martin Baron. Steve Richards, president of the Boston Newspaper Guild, which represents some 1200 Globe employees, said Wednesday that he would not comment on the incident itself or the punishment. But he described Krasner’s actions as the logical outcome of a 32-month impasse over issues such as management proposals to subcontract non-editorial jobs and to eliminate seniority as a consideration in layoffs.

"I think the incident is indicative of the tension, anger, and frustration that is being experienced throughout the building," said Richards. "It’s not the most pleasant atmosphere in the building right now, and I think this incident stemmed from that."

The bystander in all this was NECN, whose airwaves ended up getting used as part of the Globe’s contract battle.

Charles Kravetz, vice-president of news and station manager, said, "I’ve been assured by the folks at the Globe that they’re handling this matter, and that there won’t be any similar incidents in the future. And I’m very comfortable that they’re dealing with this as an internal issue, and that they’re handling it in a way that will be comfortable for us and for them."

Issue Date: September 5 -11, 2003
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