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National Consumers League

In 1899 a group of women associated with the Hull-House social settlement and led by Hull-House member Florence Kelley established the advocacy group known as the National Consumers League (NCL). The main objective of the organization was to achieve a minimum wage and a limitation on the working hours of women and children. Its constitution stipulated that it was "concerned that goods be produced and distributed at reasonable prices and in adequate quantity, but under fair, safe, and healthy working conditions that foster quality products for consumers and a decent standard of living for workers."

Florence Kelley, the NCL's first leader, traveled the country lecturing on working conditions in the United States. Kelley also initiated the NCL White Label, which employers whose labor practices met with the NCL's approval for fairness and safety were granted the right to display. The NCL would urge consumers to boycott goods that failed to earn the right to use the label. An early League motto was "To live means to buy, to buy means to have power, to have power means to have duties." In the early 1900s, the League began practicing its motto at the forefront of the fight for a minimum wage to help workers obtain a decent standard of living. NCL's work culminated in the Fair Labor Standards Act, which created a national minimum wage in 1938.

The National Consumers League continues to work today to protect and promote the economic and social interests of America's consumers, using education, research, science, investigation, publications, and the public and private sector to accomplish that mission.

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