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Radio's New Deal: The NRA and U.S. Broadcasting, 1933-1935
Unformatted Document Text:  20 7) suggested changes would oppress and eliminate small stations and promote monopolies. 21 In a minor concession to union forces, the RCBA admitted that "facts about [radio technician] employment do not look so good." Yet, it requested that the NRA not pursue a further opening of the code for broadcasting at least for another year. Consequently, the RCBA request for a delay appeared to many as a means by broadcasters to avoid another round of potentially costly (to broadcast owners/operators and the public) code hearings. At the same time, the wider legal constitutionality of the NIRA was being tested in the courts by industries opposed to the NRA codes. Technician unionization efforts continued as the IBEW stepped up its efforts to gain recognition as the leading broadcast union. Political pressure by Democrats also pressed demands for wider broadcast reform as it continued to become clear that radio had become a critical element in political mobilization for the Roosevelt White House. On June 19, 1934, CBS announced that it had formed a company union for its technical employees, the Association of Columbia Broadcasting Technicians (ACBT). CBS modeled its company union, the Association of Columbia Broadcasting Technicians (ACBT), upon the ATE at NBC. CBS offered its technical employees a slightly lower $40 weekly minimum salary thorough 1938 (about $2.50 less per week than the ATE salary, but for the same 48-hour week). This figure varied depending on the seniority of employees, but could extend up to $75 per week. Supervisors were offered $60 per week. 106 These high wages, far above code minimums, deserve mention for "divide and conquer" implications. NRA Radio HearingsJune, 1934 On June 20-21, 1934, the NRA held its widely anticipated two days of hearings on radio salaries and working conditions in the U.S. broadcast industry. Instead of denying pleas from workers and outside unions to improve wages and working conditions, the NRA listened to organized labor demands in order to bring peace to U.S. broadcasting. Unions seeking to represent radio

Authors: Mazzocco, Dennis.
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20
7) suggested changes would oppress and eliminate small stations and promote monopolies.
21
In a minor concession to union forces, the RCBA admitted that "facts about [radio technician]
employment do not look so good." Yet, it requested that the NRA not pursue a further opening of the code
for broadcasting at least for another year.
Consequently, the RCBA request for a delay appeared to many as a means by broadcasters
to avoid another round of potentially costly (to broadcast owners/operators and the public) code
hearings. At the same time, the wider legal constitutionality of the NIRA was being tested in the
courts by industries opposed to the NRA codes. Technician unionization efforts continued as the
IBEW stepped up its efforts to gain recognition as the leading broadcast union. Political pressure by
Democrats also pressed demands for wider broadcast reform as it continued to become clear that
radio had become a critical element in political mobilization for the Roosevelt White House.
On June 19, 1934, CBS announced that it had formed a company union for its technical
employees, the Association of Columbia Broadcasting Technicians (ACBT). CBS modeled its
company union, the Association of Columbia Broadcasting Technicians (ACBT), upon the ATE at
NBC. CBS offered its technical employees a slightly lower $40 weekly minimum salary thorough
1938 (about $2.50 less per week than the ATE salary, but for the same 48-hour week). This figure
varied depending on the seniority of employees, but could extend up to $75 per week. Supervisors
were offered $60 per week.
106
These high wages, far above code minimums, deserve mention for
"divide and conquer" implications.
NRA Radio Hearings
June, 1934
On June 20-21, 1934, the NRA held its widely anticipated two days of hearings on radio
salaries and working conditions in the U.S. broadcast industry. Instead of denying pleas from
workers and outside unions to improve wages and working conditions, the NRA listened to organized
labor demands in order to bring peace to U.S. broadcasting. Unions seeking to represent radio


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