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DALLAS -- The staff of the Dallas Morning News voted to unionize Friday, becoming the first newspaper in Texas to do so amid a recent wave of labor organizing at news outlets across the country.

The Dallas News Guild announced that employees of the paper and its Spanish-language sister publication, Al Dia, voted 84-28 in favor of unionizing. The vote went to the National Labor Relations Board after the papers' parent company, A. H. Belo Corp., declined to voluntarily recognize the union in July. The board must still certify the vote.

"We're thrilled that our colleagues overwhelmingly voted yes," Dave Tarrant, a longtime reporter and Guild spokesman, said in a statement. "We've been working on this for a year, and we're all extremely happy about the outcome and excited to move forward."

Meanwhile, Publisher Grant Moise told the paper that he's disappointed with the outcome of the vote.

"We felt strongly that the best way to move forward is without a third party being inserted into our newspapers' culture," Moise said. "We respect the rights of these employees and will proceed forward in good faith negotiations."

The economic hardship of the coronavirus pandemic has been a blow to the newspaper industry, which was already struggling to adjust to the decline of print advertising revenue.

A. H. Belo reported a 25% drop in second quarter revenue this year and temporarily cut the pay of some employees, according to the Morning News. The paper's editor announced his resignation in September.

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