New York Times Co. contacted union leaders about restarting contract negotiations a day after the publisher announced last week the retirement of Chief Executive Officer Janet Robinson, according to the local Newspaper Guild. Negotiating groups plan to meet in January on a date to be determined, Newspaper Guild of New York President Bill O’Meara said in a telephone interview yesterday. The guild, representing almost 1,100 workers at the company’s flagship New York Times newspaper, said the two sides last met June 1. “We have been asking for full meeting since,” O’Meara said. “A lot of the big issues have yet to be dealt with.” The negotiations come at a “strange time” as Times Co. pushes a pension freeze for some employees that is intended to save $9 million a year, about the same amount as Robinson’s reported retirement payout, O’Meara said. The company said Dec. 15 that Robinson, who will retire Dec. 31 after seven years as CEO, will be paid $4.5 million as a consultant for one year. Reuters, citing unidentified sources, reported this week that Robinson also stands to make $10.9 million in pension benefits. “That would have paid pensions for over 1,000 employees,” O’Meara said. “Our employees are very upset.”
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