Historical Background

“NABET-CWA your Union” has been the theme of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians almost from its inception in 1934. NABET began its history of representing employees in Broadcasting (Television, Radio, Film and Production) at what was then called the “Red” and “Blue” networks, now ABC and NBC. At that time NABET’s (then ATE, the Association of Technical Employees) first contract provided $175.00 per month and 48-hour work week. In 1937 NABET expanded, covering independent radio and television stations, and in 1939 achieved a union shop clause.

In 1940 came the name change from ATE to NABET, and in 1941 the first 8 hour day, and NABET grew to 23 independent contracts. In 1951, NABET affiliated with the CIO, followed in 1952 by the Canadians joining NABET. By 1960 NABET’s independent contracts grew to 100. In 1965, came the first film local. In 1968 the Canadians achieved local autonomy followed in 1974 by full autonomy. In 1993, NABET affiliated with the Communications Workers of America, followed in 1994 with a full merger, which resulted in the new name NABET-CWA.

Over the years, NABET has fought for and won benefits and wages for its represented members, which include a union shop, 8-hour work days, vacations, holidays, sick leave, insurance, overtime pay, pension plans, seniority, grievance and arbitration, safety and health. NABET is proud of its fine tradition of democracy and the servicing of its members by officers and staff whose roots are in the industry it now serves.

At the Bargaining Table

Elected officers and trained staff head up collective bargaining efforts within the Union. Seated with them are rank and file NABET members, attuned to the needs of those they represent.

NABET contracts spell out workers’ rights and management’s obligations for decent wages, benefits and other working conditions. These contracts provide an insurance policy against unfair treatment on the job.

Most NABET contracts provide health and medical insurance, pensions, wages, overtime vacations, holidays, sickness absence policies, employment security and grievance and arbitration rights. Many also provide for bereavement pay and differentials for certain types of work and/or hours of work.

Before a contract takes effect, the members have a right to vote whether to accept it. And, should a problem develop under the contract, trained stewards—backed up by elected officers and professional staff are available to represent its members and resolve grievances.

On the Job

Technological change is sweeping the workplace, creating new opportunities and new problems for today’s workers. NABET, along with CWA, and a broad coalition of other Entertainment and Broadcast Unions, civic groups, religious leaders, environmental activists and concerned citizens have banded in many locations to meet the challenge of these changes as it affects our membership.

NABET-CWA, its officers, stewards and members participate in mass mobilization efforts at various times and locations throughout the United States to focus public attention on workers’ needs.

In the Community

NABET-CWA and CWA members and their families live and work in 10,000 communities across the United States and Canada. CWA leaders and members are encouraged to participate as concerned citizens in community and civic projects. CWA has gained a widely respected reputation as the “Community-Minded Union.” CWA is also in the forefront of legislative initiatives to reform the health care system, overhaul safety and health laws, win stronger labor law and promote the creation of good-paying high-skill jobs in America.

To promote these and other interests of working men and women, CWA is active in the Jobs with Justice Coalition—a force dedicated to working people and their needs.

Around the World CWA maintains close relations with counterpart unions in Asia, the United Kingdom, continental Europe and Latin America both individually and through the five million members of the Postal, Telegraph and Telephone International (PTTI). With more and more U.S. and Canadian based businesses expanding their operations throughout the world—a trend that has accelerated spectacularly in recent years----CWA believes that labor standards must be lifted wherever these corporations do business.