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Journalists At Dallas Morning News, Al Día Have Voted To Form A Union

The Dallas Morning News newsroom is located in downtown Dallas.

Journalists at The Dallas Morning News and its sister publication Al Día are unionizing.

The newsroom has voted 84 to 28 in favor of having the Dallas News Guild represent them in contract talks regarding pay and working conditions. The guild represents more than 125 journalists.

Once the National Labor Relations Board certifies the election results, contract negotiations would begin, the guild says.

“Local journalists are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic and the social justice movement,” Cassandra Jaramillo, a Morning News reporter, said in a statement. “Dallas needs a strong newsroom now more than ever. We look forward to working with management to build an equitable and diverse newsroom.”

Union organizers this summer cited no-raise promotions and staff and pay cuts in their request for recognition.

The newspaper's parent company, A.H. Belo, declined to voluntarily recognize the union. That prompted a secret-ballot mail election overseen by the Labor Board, the Morning News reported.

Morning News Publisher Grant Moise told the newspaper he respects the rights of employees and will proceed in good faith negotiations.

Several other newspapers and online news organizations across the country have either recently formed unions or been unionized for some time. Journalists at The Los Angeles Times voted in 2018 to unionize. BuzzFeed employees formed a union last year.

Decades of job losses have battered newspapers across the U.S., and the coronavirus pandemic has led to the acceleration of furloughs, job losses and closures across the industry.

Journalists at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently announced plans to form a union, as well. Star-Telegram reporters, photographers and producers want to form a union under the umbrella of the NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America.

They’re asking the McClatchy Company, which owns the paper, to voluntarily recognize their union.

“Star-Telegram journalists are dedicated to Fort Worth and deserve a voice in the decisions that impact our newsroom,” reporter Luke Ranker said in a statement. “The NewsGuild will help us advocate for ourselves and our community, and ensure a strong legacy into the future.”

KERA's Christopher Connelly and Elizabeth Myong contributed to this report.

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Miguel Perez is an assistant producer at KERA. He produces local content for Morning Edition and KERA News. He also produces The Friday Conversation, a weekly interview series with North Texas newsmakers.
Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.