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Any buyers for The Boston Globe?

The refusal of the largest union to accept contract terms could make a sale much harder. Workers hope that the newspaper's owner, The New York Times Co., will reopen contract talks.

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Workers walk past the front of The Boston Globe building in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston on Monday June 8.

Charles Krupa/AP

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The Boston Globe is back on the auction block, despite a potentially long and drawn-out labor dispute with its largest union.

The New York Times Co., the Globe's owner, confirmed Wednesday that it has hired the investment firm Goldman Sachs to shop the paper, which is New England's largest. In fact, a large real estate firm, the Intercontinental Real Estate Corp., has been in talks with The New York Times Co. for the past 10 weeks, according to the Boston Herald, the Globe's chief competitor.

The Boston Newspaper Guild, the Globe's largest union, has signaled that if a new owner were found, the Guild would be willing to negotiate wage and benefit cuts in exchange for an equity stake in the paper.

At the same time, workers at the Globe are holding out hope that The New York Times Co. will go back to the bargaining table to reopen contract talks. The goal would be to make it easier to sell the paper. "The ball is in the Times's court," says one Globe reporter, who asked not to be named, saying it was best to leave comments to the Guild negotiators.

This week, the Guild narrowly rejected a contract offer that included a 10 percent wage cut and steep reductions in benefits. The Times countered by declaring an impasse and imposing a 23 percent wage cut. The union then filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.

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