Consumers League of New Jersey

Volume 61, No. 4 . . . . . .Founded in 1900 . . . . . .January 1999

 CLNJ's Countdown to Year 2000

The year 2000 will mark the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Consumers League of New Jersey. Consumers League asks that you help us prepare for our next hundred years with a donation of $100.

In 1900, conditions for workers in this country were grim. High school education was only for rich children. Poor children worked in factories. All factory workers labored long hours in dangerous conditions. Seven-day work weeks were the norm in some industries: "if you don't come in Sunday, don't come in Monday."

How are we doing now? Much better here in the USA, thanks to the union movement, and the New Deal labor laws, prohibiting child labor, and mandating minimum wages, and overtime pay. Most Americans take benefits like Social Security and health insurance plans for granted.

But some sweatshops still exist in this country, particularly in the garment industry. Outside of the US, conditions are still as bad as 1900 in many of the factories which make our clothes. A recent class action suit accuses major manufacturers and stores of turning a blind eye on exploitation.

Consumers League of New Jersey still stands with its founders: even if laws of foreign countries allow it, child labor is still unacceptable, starvation wages are still unacceptable, excessive hours and 12 hour days are unacceptable. CLNJ cannot put its stamp of approval on practices which would make our founders turn in their graves.

Rent to Own Bills Ready for Vote

The N.J. Senate Commerce Committee approved S.1343/A.1097, which is possibly the worst bill pending in the state legislature. CLNJ and NJPIRG Citizen Lobby testified that the bill would legalize astronomical interest rates (above 100%!) for "rent to own" sales of appliances on credit to the poor. Voting for this abomination were Senators Cardinale, Singer, and Lesniak. The lone pro-consumer vote was Senator Garry Furnari. Now the rent to own bill is poised for votes on the floors of both Senate and Assembly. We need you to help stop this attempt to legalize what three judges, after years of investigation, called consumer fraud. Phone numbers and addresses for legislators are on the Web at

The Associated Press reported that RTO operators paid over $100,000 to legislators and lobbyists who contribute money to candidates. Governor Whitman's fundraiser, Dale Florio, is lead lobbyist for rent to own!

For over 12 months, Attorney General Peter Verniero has been suspiciously silent at every RTO hearing. Previously, his Consumer Affairs Director Mark Herr came to oppose similar RTO bills. Governor Florio's Consumer Affairs Director, Patricia Royer, testified against RTO. Governor Kean's Public Advocates also opposed RTO.
Where do you stand Governor Whitman? Attorney General Verniero is supposed to enforce the laws. The court decisions say RTO violates N.J.'s criminal usury law (30% ceiling) and the N.J. Consumer Fraud Act. Are you in favor of legalizing fraud?

*** Click here for 1999 Low Rate Credit Card List***

I wish to become a member of the Consumers League of New Jersey, and/or the Consumers League Education Fund.
Annual dues of $20 include a subscription to the Consumers League Newsletter. Contributions to the Education Fund (only) are tax deductible. Thank you for your contribution.

________Consumers League Life Member, $1,000
________Consumers League Century Club, $100
________Consumers League of New Jersey, annual dues $20
________Consumers League Education Fund, $20
________Newsletter subscription only, $10 (not a member)
________Additional donation to help CLNJ: Enclosed is:
_____$1,000,_____$100, _____$50, _____$25, _____other.




PHONE (optional)

$100 for 100 Years!

Consumers League of New Jersey will be celebrating our One Hundredth Anniversary in the year 2000!

As we count down to our second century,
we have a simple plea:
if you can,please send us $100 for our next 100 years!

Please send your membership application and your check to:
Consumers League of New Jersey
60 South Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, New Jersey 07042

Thank you!

Home Page | Join CLNJ | Contact CLNJ | Newsletters |
Credit Cards | Rent to Own | Current Issues | Suits |
NJ Legislature | Congress | Heroes & Zeroes |
Consumer Links | History of Consumers League | Civics Lesson