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Preview: Industrial Workers of the World - Sex Trade Workers Industrial Union 690

Industrial Workers of the World - Sex Trade Workers Industrial Union 690



All workers employed as dancers and models, telephone sex workers, actors and other workers who use sexuality as the primary tool of their trade (excluding all agents of the boss class able to hire or fire, or possessing equivalent coercive or punitive



 



Sex workers of Rhode Island, unite!

Thu, 05 Nov 2015 00:15:09 +0000

By Andrew Stewart - RIFuture.org, November 3, 2015

(image) It is called the oldest line of work in the world and yet it is consistently denied legitimacy. But here in Rhode Island, where prostitution was legal from 1980 until 2009, some local sex workers are re-asserting their agency by organizing a labor union.

“You see women get raped, you see women get murdered,” said Madeira Darling, an organizer, whose name has been changed in this story to protect her identity. “Criminalization itself is violence. It means women can’t seek protection either from the law or from one another. Occasionally you will get guys who think they are in love with you stalking you. And police will often blame sex workers for violence even if they aren’t in criminalized industries.”

Madeira began work as an exotic dancer at age 19 in New York before becoming a dominatrix and relocating to Rhode Island, labor she continues to perform here. She and several of her colleagues are working towards something radically inclusive: the creation of a statewide sex worker labor union.

Interested in creating a truly industrial union, the group is open to allowing all sex workers join her in the effort, reaching out to strippers, escorts, camera/phone workers, porn stars, strip club bouncers, bar workers, masseurs/masseuses, actors, directors, and crew in adult films, and any other laborer in the industry, including the internet workers. As of this point she has contacted four other workers, but hopes that publicizing this effort my grow the ranks.

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Porn, Sex Positivity, and Working Class Solidarity

Sun, 20 Sep 2015 20:09:47 +0000

By Kasparkonsequent - Red and Black Leeds, September 18, 2015 Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s. The UK’s gradually expanding porn law restrictions have been going on for years and eventually came to a climax the end of 2014, when previously existing restrictions were applied to all pornographic material made in the UK. Though I still see the occasional protest against this, and a few campaigners are still trying to overturn it, the flurry of outrage has largely died down. My aim here is not to defend the ban, but to critique the way this has been discussed, so we might be able to distinguish in future between what some members of the public want the sex industry to be, and an expression of working class solidarity towards those of us who work in it. It’s obvious to most people that the list of banned acts represents pure moralising, and that the people who made this list seem to have a particular idea of what normal sex is and should be (part of which, as a number of people have noted, seems to be based on the idea that sex is something that women do for men). The legislation is clearly not about what should or shouldn’t happen on a porn set, but is entirely about what should be depicted and how. This is no mistake, the changes are part of the Obscene Publications Act, designed to outlaw any material that “tends to deprave and corrupt”. The fact that some of the banned acts are also things that many workers will want to avoid at work is coincidental and not the purpose of the ban. This becomes apparent when we see that vomiting, for example from facefucking, is something that is acceptable “if it is not performed as part of the sexual act, and is not visibly enjoyed by the participants”. The important phrase is “visibly enjoyed”, as the issue is not whether or not the worker is actually enjoying having the back of their throat hit until they vomit, but whether or not they have the inclination or acting ability to portray someone who does enjoy it. And according to the OPA they should not appear to enjoy it as it might give people watching the idea that this could be fun. However if your work involves occasional uncontrolled vomiting and you look suitably unimpressed by it when it happens, then as far as this legislation is concerned that’s fine and nothing to worry about. Whether consciously or not, a lot of the responses to this have mirrored the same attitude in the sense that they’ve not been about what the work is like for those people having sex on camera, but about what consumers think should or shouldn’t be depicted, and how it should be represented, and what porn should look like to portray sex in a certain way to society. Progressives all over the UK have complained that they want female pleasure to be depicted and so are against the ban on female ejaculation, that they want women to be shown as empowered in sex and so are against the ban on face-sitting, that they want a variety of sexual acts to be represented so we aren’t conditioned to masturbate only to the same tired misogynistic porn formula. This is fair enough. It’s not only films and high art that influence our society and how we think, but all the media we consume. Even if all the porn actors on set were to be bored out of their minds, hate each other, and feel disgusted by the thought of having to get it on for the camera, if they produce a work of fiction that depicts the healthy negotiating of consent, where the people having sex are smiling at each other while on camera, where women are portrayed as having their own sexual desires, that could have a positive affect on people watching it. read more[...]



Houston IWW wins first campaign; a multi-worker fight against a remodeling contractor

Mon, 17 Aug 2015 02:22:27 +0000

Press Release - Houston IWW, August 11, 2015

We won!!

The fight against Felipe Serna has concluded.  Serna wrote a check to Hector, Pancho, and Mauricio which was promptly cashed this morning.

After our letter delivery, folks will recall that we organized a phone blast of The Growing Tree daycare and Felipe’s cell.  It was very effective; his phone didn’t stop ringing and he was in tears begging for mercy.  But when the calls ceased, his verbal commitment to settling turned into indignation as he failed to follow through and after a few days texted us an image of his “lawyer’s” business card, the second attorney he had threatened us with.

So we got indignant too and last night covered the surrounding neighborhood of The Growing Tree with “Wanted for Wage Theft” posters with his image prominently on the front.  We made sure to leave one on the front door of the daycare.  The next morning he wrote a check.

This is an important first victory for the Houston IWW and we couldn’t have done it without your support.  Thanks to the folks who showed up at the ass crack of dawn for the demand delivery and thanks to the many people who participated in the phone blast.

While we can’t know if Serna will steal wages again, he will certainly consider the costs.  And that is what we want every employer in Houston to do; consider that there are forces that they will have to contend with when they steal from labor-power.

We also know that to seriously challenge wage theft and to build workers power, we need an active and fighting working class, something we cannot create by sheer will.  Instead, we do what we can with the resources we have until that becomes a general condition.  In addition to fighting on the job, we need to fight against Adrian Garcia, the police, and ICE, we need to organize with detainees against incarceration, we need to defend our homes and neighborhoods from landlords and banks, we need to fight the grassroots Right and the fascists among them, we need to fight against racist school boards and curriculum, etc.

The IWW is committed to fighting against all of these forces.  An injury to one is an injury all!!

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It Took Direct Action to Make This Boss Pay Seattle’s New Minimum Wage

Wed, 05 Aug 2015 01:07:23 +0000

By Chelsea Harris - Labor Notes, July 23, 2015

(image) “I don’t know who you people are!” barked Joe Walker, the owner of Pandora’s Adult Cabaret, a Seattle-area strip club, to the workers gathered in his office. “Why don’t you all go flip burgers!”

But despite this confrontational language—typical of how he often spoke to employees—within hours Walker would give in to their demand for the back pay he owed them.

As a boss, Walker is abhorrent, showing no respect for or concern for the safety of his club’s servers or dancers. Employees had horror stories of working around bodily fluids and other filth with no safety procedures, frequent illness with no health benefits or sick leave, and dancers being stalked and sexually assaulted at the club.

Add to this abusive language and shady bookkeeping. Managers had told bartenders and servers not to report tips. Instead, managers were reporting employee tips as $5 a week.

On April 1 the Seattle minimum wage went up to $11 per hour (the first step in a process towards a $15 per hour minimum wage, which won’t go into effect for two to six years).

But two weeks later, Walker was still paying his servers the old minimum wage of $9.47. When Alyssa, a server at the club, asked when they could expect a wage increase, she was fired.

Lindsay, another server fed up with Walker’s hostility whenever she asked about wages, put in her two weeks’ notice—but was promptly fired too. “You’re beneath this job,” he told her.

Unfortunately for him, Lindsay is in a union: the Seattle branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (the “Wobblies”), which anyone can join, except people with the power to hire and fire. After meeting with the union’s Seattle general organizing committee, Lindsay and Alyssa began an escalation plan.

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America's Least Trusted - How a Clermont stripper ended up under FBI surveillance

Sat, 31 Dec 2005 20:32:00 +0000

By Coley Ward - creativeloafing.com, December 28, 2005

(image) Tabby Chase works nights as a dancer at the Clermont Lounge, so she was asleep the morning of Thurs., March 17, when she says FBI Special Agent Dante Jones called her.

Chase says she didn't know what the FBI wanted. When she awoke, it was late afternoon, and she had five messages from three numbers. She says each was from Jones, telling her the FBI needed to ask some questions.

Chase is tall and thin, with hair buzzed to about a quarter-inch, except for long blond bangs that routinely fall in her face. She describes herself as a flaky anarchist, somebody who has an inherent distrust of government and big business but who is "terrible at outreach" and "not involved in any organizing."

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