By a margin of over 75%, journalists with The Dallas Morning News and our sister publication Al Dia Dallas voted on Friday to form a union.
The News – the oldest continuously operated business in Texas and the state’s leading newspaper – is the first major newspaper newsroom in the state to unionize in the modern era.
The Dallas News Guild is a unit of The NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America. The vote was 84-28.
Once the National Labor Relations Board certifies the election results, contract negotiations will begin.
The guild covers more than 125 journalists across all departments of the newsroom.
Guild spokesperson Dave Tarrant, a longtime reporter at The News, said: “We’re thrilled that our colleagues overwhelmingly voted yes to organize themselves and be represented by the Dallas News Guild, a unit of the NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America. “We’ve been working on this for a year, and we’re all extremely happy about the outcome and excited to move forward.”
The group’s mission statement shows its aim – to serve as full partners with management to keep the paper strong. “We take immense pride in having the opportunity to serve this community,” the statement reads. “But The Dallas Morning News as an institution fails to truly fulfill its promise and duty to readers when experienced colleagues are lost to layoffs or disillusionment, when employees struggle for pay equity, and young talent have no clear path forward.”
Cassandra Jaramillo, a reporter covering public safety, spent the last year helping to organize the union while covering the impact of the pandemic and protests against police shootings.
“Local journalists are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic and the social justice movement. Dallas needs a strong newsroom now more than ever. We look forward to working with management to build an equitable and diverse newsroom.”
The group’s motto is “Preserving the Rock of Truth.” For decades, a three-story creed about journalism fairness and integrity was chiseled above the main entrance to The News’ former building.