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Newspaper Page Text
BROOM FACTORY OFFICIAL IS FOUND GUILTY OF LEWD TREAT
MENT TO GIRL WORKERS
A long step forward in. bettering
the conditions under 'which working
girls must labor wasaken yesterday
in the Morals Court "when Judge
Goodnow found William Wright,
foreman of the United States Brush
and Broom Co., guilty of using lewd
language and obscene actions toward
girl brushmakers and fined him $25.
In passing sentence upon Vright,
Judge Goodnow declared that work
ing girls had a right to be protected
not only in this factory, but in all
"Working girls are buffeted around
enough under ordinary conditions,"
the judge said. "They are up against
a pretty tough game and they should
have as much protection as can be
"Some people believe that because
girls are foreigners any language
may be used in their presence so long
as they do not understand it. That is
a mistaken idea. They are as keen
and quick to understand indecent
language and actions as other girls
and such an atmosphere is not con
ducive to morality. It will have an
effect on their character that may
later be very harmful.
"The fact that these girls did not
make this complaint until they were
on a strike from this factory has
nothing to do with the case. They
claim they made no complaint to
the president of the company because
they were afraid of losing their jobs.
"My experience has been that is
usually what happens if a girl does
complain of such things. She must
either endure them or quit And if
they had brought this case into court
before they were on a strike they
would undoubtedly have been out of
a position anyway."
Wright was represented by two
lawyers in the employ of the United
States Brush and Broom Co. Assist-
ant Corporation Counsel Max M.
Korshak prosecuted the case. I
Five girls testified against Wright. I
Only two of the girls spoke English
and those two very indifferently. All
of the girls were adverse to repeating
the language used by Wright or de
scribing his actions and only the sym
pathetic understanding and delicate
handling of the case by Korshak en
abled them to go through the ordeaL
Wright was a poor witness for
himself. On direct examination he
denied that he had used lewd lan
guage, but cross-examined by Kor
shak fell back upon the statement
that he could not remember if he
had used such language.
The story of Wright's treatment of
the little foreign girls employed in
this factory was told in The Day
Book some time ago. The language
was of such character that it could
not be, printed nor the actions de
scribed. The United States Broom and
Brush Co. is the only factory in the
United States employing girls to
make brooms and whisks. It form
erly operated under prison contract
labor at Joliet, HI., prison and Jack
son, Mich., prison.
Due to the fact that the girls re
ceived about one-third of the wages
paid in other factories for this work,
the International Broom and Whisk
Makers' Union took up their fight for
a living wage and a strike was called.
Later Will R. Boyer, secretary of
the union, learned that the low wages
was the least that these girls had
been compelled to endure, and when
he heard their shocking stories of
obscene actions and language used to
them by Wright the matter was
brought into the Morals Court. .
Attorneys for Wright will be heard
on a motion to vacate on Oct. 14.
AND THEN AGAIN "1
"Small, Hot Bullets Give Little Pkin,"
Savs ? headline that I treasure
And I wish to add that it's plain
That they can't give much real
pleasure! New York MaiL "