businessLocal Companies

Dallas Morning News newsroom employees win election to form union

The Dallas News Guild says it will soon elect officers so contract talks can begin.

Journalists at The Dallas Morning News and Al Día won the right Friday to negotiate as a group for a union contract governing their pay and working conditions.

The National Relations Labor Board in Fort Worth said newsroom employees voted 84-28 in favor of union representation under the auspices of the Communications Workers of America. NLRB still must formally certify the results.

“We are disappointed with the unofficial results of the union vote,” said The News' Publisher Grant Moise in a statement. “We felt strongly that the best way to move forward is without a third party being inserted into our newspaper’s culture. We respect the rights of these employees and will proceed forward in good faith negotiations.”

David Tarrant, a veteran reporter and organizing committee member, said the newly formed union will soon elect officers so it can begin contract talks with the company.

“We’ve been working a long time on this, over a year, and we’re all extremely happy about the outcome and excited to move forward,” Tarrant said.

The Dallas News Guild petitioned The News' parent company, A. H. Belo Corporation, in July for voluntary recognition. When the company declined, it triggered a secret-ballot mail election overseen by the NLRB.

Union organizers at the time cited dissatisfaction with what they called “no-raise promotions, increased work without increased income, staffing cut to the bone and, most recently, an across-the-board reduction in pay.”

In July, A. H. Belo reported a 25% decline in second-quarter revenue and a net loss as the pandemic shut down the economy and forced the 135-year-old newspaper company to slash expenses.

The company cut salaries 3% to 17% in April, restored some in August for workers earning less than $60,000 a year and has since fully returned pay to pre-pandemic levels for all but top executives.

The News is among a growing number of legacy newspapers to undergo unionization drives this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused thousands of job cuts in newsrooms across the country.

Earlier this week, journalists at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram announced their plans to form a union. The Star-Telegram is owned by a hedge fund that bought its parent company, McClatchy, as part of a bankruptcy reorganization. Several other McClatchy newsrooms already are unionized.

Paul O'Donnell, Business Editor. Paul directs the work of an award-winning staff covering business news in the nation's fourth largest metro region. He's been The News' business editor since 2015. Before that, he was editor-in-chief at the Dallas Business Journal and business editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

podonnell@dallasnews.com @paul_o_donnell LinkedIn Iconhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-o-donnell-a476948/
Business Briefing

Business Briefing

Become a business insider. Get the latest headlines delivered to your inbox every weekday.

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy