- Associated Press - Friday, August 12, 2016

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - Journalists at The Ledger in central Florida have voted to unionize.

Newsroom employees voted 22-3 on Thursday to have The NewsGuild represent them in bargaining for their first labor contract with the Polk County newspaper’s parent company, GateHouse Media.

Ledger Media Group publisher Kevin Drake said in a statement that the vote was disappointing but the newspaper remained committed to producing quality journalism.

GateHouse Media acquired The Ledger and other Florida newspapers from Halifax Media in 2015. The Pittsford, New York, company is a subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc.

According to a NewsGuild statement, over 20 Ledger newsroom employees have been laid off since the acquisition.

The NewsGuild said The Ledger is the only Florida newspaper with a unionized newsroom. The News Media Guild represents Associated Press editorial employees in the U.S.

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