The Newspaper Guild, a union that represents hundreds of editorial employees at Time Inc., says that contract negotiations with the company have broken down after the company stood firm on its demands for the right to outsource union jobs.

The Guild, which represents around 200 employees at the magazine empire, said in a statement that talks reached "an impasse" when the union rejected an offer "that would enable the company to send dozens of editorial jobs overseas, further consolidate editorial functions across its magazines and end healthcare benefits for retirees." [Update: The Guild emails to say that "Time Inc is the one that claims they reached an impasse NOT the Guild. The Guild disputes that and does not agree that impasse has been reached."]

"Time Inc.'s proposal to hollow out its own company is simply not acceptable. Management wants the ability to send 160 editorial jobs overseas, which would be a massive blow to some of the nation's most important and respected magazines," said Newspaper Guild of New York President Bill O'Meara.

To be fair to Time Inc., they are a magazine company in an age of declining magazines, and they have had many layoffs, and they will certainly have more, one way or another.

The negotiations have been marked by union leaks to this website about both the company's demand for the right to outsource a large number of positions, and an internal spreadsheet showing that writers and editors were ranked on how "beneficial" their work was perceived to be to advertisers.

Worker unions and print magazines are both endangered species so we hope that they can reach an agreement.

[Photo: AP]