The New York Times is shutting down City and Suburban Delivery Systems, a unit that distributed the Times and 200 other publications to newsstands in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. With it, the NYT is shedding 550 full-time union jobs. Instead, company will increase its reliance on non-union contractors (read: cheaper) to distribute the Times to area retailers, much like the national edition of the Times, which is distributed by third-party companies.
The unit was formed in 1992 in a bid to diminish the clout of unions over the newspaper delivery business. The Times bought two newspaper wholesalers to form the unit and negotiated a long-term employment contract with drivers. A good idea at the time, but as NYT GM Scott Heekin-Canedy says now, “the business environment has changed dramatically since 1992 when City & Suburban was formed and wholesale distribution is no longer an economical business for the Times Company.”
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