Earlier this year, Globe senior VP for employee relations and operations Greg Thornton and Boston Newspaper Guild head Dan Totten squared off in contentious contract negotiations. (Here they are doing just that.) The next time Globe management and Globe labor do battle, though, neither man will be in the mix. Totten was recently expelled from his own union after a trial found him guilty of assorted financial violations--and yesterday, Thornton announced his retirement after 22 years at the paper.
Whether Thornton's exit was voluntary is, of course, the big unanswered question. Whatever the answer, some Globe staffers won't be sorry to see him go; one Globe source described him to me as the New York Times Co.'s hatchet man at the paper.
Given Thornton's inherently adversarial role in the recent contract talks, some ill will may have been inevitable. Still, Thornton's exit may make it easier for incoming Globe publisher Chris Mayer to create an amiable relationship--at least at the outset--with the Globe's workforce.