The formation of the Union that would become NABET was begun in 1934, when the ATE, (Association of Technical Employees) began representing employees in Television, Radio, Film and Production. Originally the employees represented worked for the "Red" and "Blue" networks, which later became NBC and ABC, respectively.
Some highlights in the history of NABET include:
- 1937 ATE expanded covering independent radio and television stations.
- 1940 the Union’s name was changed to NABET
- 1951 NABET affiliated with the CIO.
- 1952 the Canadians joined NABET.
- 1960 NABET held 100 independent contracts.
- 1965 the first film local was formed.
- 1968 the Canadians achieved local autonomy, with full autonomy achieved in 1974.
- 1993 NABET affiliated with CWA and in 1994 the full merger took place which resulted in the new name of NABET-CWA .