Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 6.djvu/789
WORK AND PROBLEMS OF CONSUMERS' LEAGUE 77$
established what is known as the union label. The union label varies in form, appearance, and conditions under which it is issued and with the different trades unions. It is supposed to bear upon its face the impression that the goods are made by union labor, that they are made under proper sanitary conditions, and that the standard wages have been paid. The National Consumers' League is not interested so much in the question of wages as it is in the question of cleanliness. Some differences of opinion may arise between the two organizations, for high wages are not necessarily indicative of the fact that production is carried on under clean and healthful conditions. Nor, on the other hand, is it true that clean and healthful conditions necessitate the pay- ment of high wages. Hence there is a possibility of conflict, but certainly with any tendency toward an understanding of the situation there should be cooperation between the two organizations from the national point of view.
Each local consumers' league soon finds itself brought in contact with trades unions. It is looked to for sympathy in strikes, and is expected to bring its influence to bear upon, and in favor of, the laboring classes. Just how far this should be carried and how far it should be borne out it is difficult to answer, but certainly every question in which the trades unions and Consumers' League come together should be solved, so far as possible, on the basis that the trades unions and Consumers' League are natural allies and not enemies. Then, again, it must be remembered that the trades unions represent large bodies of consumers, who, if once instilled with the doctrine of the Con- sumers' League, would bring to bear as large a demand as the Consumers' League itself. So in the beginning it should be the object of every consumers' league to secure hearty cooperation from the trades unions, to keep out of their quarrels, but at the same time to secure their alliance and their cooperation.
In the case of the National Consumers' League and the working out of the local problem by the various chapters of the Consumers' League, conflict may arise from the simple fact that mercantile establishments which are not on the "white list" may keep and sell labeled goods. There is no way by which the