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The American Association for Labor Legislation (1906-1943)
The American Association for Labor Legislation (AALL) was formed to promote uniformity of labor legislation and to encourage the study of labor conditions with a view toward promoting desirable legislation. The Association was founded as a branch of the International Association for Labor Legislation. Preliminary discussions about forming the group occurred during 1905 and culminated in the first meeting of the Association held on February 15, 1906, in New York City.
During the Association’s first few years, three basic objectives were established: to serve as the American branch of the International Association for Labor Legislation; to promote uniformity of labor legislation in the United States; and to encourage the study of labor conditions with a view toward promoting desirable labor legislation.
John Bertram Andrews was appointed executive secretary in 1909. His wife, Irene Osgood Andrews, eventually became associate secretary. John Andrews, as lobbyist, lecturer, author and editor of the publication The American Labor Legislation Review, became the motivating force of the Association. Broadly speaking, the American Association for Labor Legislation set the following goals: the alleviation of adverse working conditions; the creation of laws to protect safety and health on the job; and the provision of compensation in times of unemployment and benefits for workers no longer able to participate in the labor force. To facilitate the implementation of the Association’s interests, study groups were established to investigate labor conditions. Active lobbying was undertaken in support of protective labor legislation in state and federal legislatures, and critiques were published concerning pending bills. The lifetime of the Association roughly corresponded to Andrews’ lifetime; its activities ceased after his death in 1943.