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National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET) Records

Call Number



1958-2009, inclusive
; 1970-1990, bulk


National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians
National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (Role: Donor)


19 Linear Feet
19 records cartoons and two oversize flat file folders.


2 websites
in two archived websites.

Language of Materials

Materials are in English


National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (now known as NABET-CWA) represents professional and non-professional employees in the broadcast industry. Initially founded in the mid-1930s as a company union for the National Broadcasting Company, it has grown to represent over 10,000 workers in many bargaining units. In 1951, NABET joined the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Some internal disputes in the 1960s led the union to give greater autonomy to local networks and affiliates, a concession that has contributed to the present structure of the organization. NABET led two major strikes against the national networks, American Broadcasting Company in 1977 and National Broadcasting Company in 1987. In 1994 the union merged with the Communications Workers of America to become NABET-CWA. The collection contains bargaining and organizing notes, websites, convention records, materials from the merger conference with the Communications Workers of America, and strike materials.

Historical/Biographical Note

The predecessor union of NABET, the Association of Technical Employees (ATE), was founded in 1934. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) formed the ATE as a company union, in an effort to prevent their employees from being organized by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The ATE would not stay under NBC control for long. It began an energetic organizing campaign, and in 1940 changed its name to the National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians (NABET).

During this period, NBC owned two national networks, designated Red and Blue. In the early 1940s the Federal Communications Commission ordered NBC to divest some of its holdings, and NBC sold the Blue network, which soon became the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). NABET retained the right to represent the professional employees of ABC.

In 1951, in the midst of a jurisdictional dispute with the IBEW and looking for allies, NABET joined the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The CIO gave NABET a charter to organize all broadcast industry employees. To reflect this broadening of representation, the union changed its name to the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians and began to organize non-professional workers.

Shortly after its affiliation with the CIO, the NABET-IBEW dispute came to a head over organizing the Columbia Broadcasting Company (CBS). The CBS disagreement was brought before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Board ruled in favor of the IBEW, which was given authority to organize CBS technical employees.

In 1967 the Hollywood and New York City locals led a fight to strengthen the authority and autonomy of local NABET organizations. This dispute nearly destroyed the union, but resulted in constitutional changes that increased the influence and independence of the network locals.

NABET led ABC national network employees through a strike in 1977. Again in 1987, the NABET workers struck, this time on behalf of the NBC national network. Throughout the late 1970s to the mid-1990s NABET continued to organize local networks and affiliate stations.

In 1993 NABET became affiliated with the Communications Workers of America (CWA). In 1994 NABET and CWA held a conference on the possibility of solidifying their affiliation with a formal merger. The conference was a success, and in 1994 NABET merged with CWA. The union once again changed its name, becoming NABET-CWA. NABET-CWA currently represents over 10,000 workers in the broadcast industry.


Folders are arranged alphabetically. The files are grouped into three series, one of which is arranged into subseries:

Series I: General Files, 1958-1995

Series II: Bargaining Files, 1959-1995

Subseries II:A: National Networks, 1959-1988

Subseries II:B: Local Affiliates, 1974-1995

Series III: Archived Websites, 2009-ongoing

Scope and Content Note

This colllection includes bargaining files of small and individual-station broadcasting companies, assorted records of the 1994 merger conference with CWA, NABET convention records 1968-1990, correspondence of the International Secretary-Treasurer and Regional Vice-Presidents, NABET Severance Benefit Trust records, and correspondence with the OPEIU. Also included are the bargaining files of the American Broadcasting Company and the National Broadcasting Company, including minutes, proposals, correspondence, negotiation notes, and assorted files from the ABC strike of 1977, the NBC strike of 1987, and the union's websites. Materials pertaining to local affiliates includes the bargaining and organizing files of local and affiliate stations.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection, created by the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET) Records; WAG 197; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.

To cite the archived website in this collection: Identification of item, date; National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET) Records; WAG 197; Wayback URL; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Location of Materials

Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least two business days prior to your research visit to coordinate access.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians - Communications Workers of America, in 2001. The accession numbers associated with this gift are 2001.042 and 2001.050.

The accession numbers 1990.009 and 1990.010 are also associated with this collection. was initially selected by curators and captured through the use of The California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service in 2009 as part of the Labor Unions and Organizations (U.S.) Web Archive. In 2015, these websites were migrated to Archive-It. Archive-It uses web crawling technology to capture websites at a scheduled time and displays only an archived copy, from the resulting WARC file, of the website. In 2018, was added to the web archives. The accession number associated with these websites are 2019.100.

Take Down Policy

Archived websites are made accessible for purposes of education and research. NYU Libraries have given attribution to rights holders when possible; however, due to the nature of archival collections, we are not always able to identify this information.

If you hold the rights to materials in our archived websites that are unattributed, please let us know so that we may maintain accurate information about these materials.

If you are a rights holder and are concerned that you have found material on this website for which you have not granted permission (or is not covered by a copyright exception under US copyright laws), you may request the removal of the material from our site by submitting a notice, with the elements described below, to the repository email.

Please include the following in your notice: Identification of the material that you believe to be infringing and information sufficient to permit us to locate the material; your contact information, such as an address, telephone number, and email address; a statement that you are the owner, or authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed and that you have a good-faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; a statement that the information in the notification is accurate and made under penalty of perjury; and your physical or electronic signature. Upon receiving a notice that includes the details listed above, we will remove the allegedly infringing material from public view while we assess the issues identified in your notice.

Collection processed by

Adam Schafenberg

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2024-02-06 14:07:39 -0500.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Finding aid is written in English

Processing Information

In 2014, the archived website was added as series III. Additional websites were added in 2018.

Revisions to this Guide

September 2019: edited by Nicole Greenhouse to reflect additional administrative information and added archived websites

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from nabet.doc


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012