I received this release today from a sex worker advocate group: sorry, haven’t had time to work it into a post so I’ve copied and pasted. It looks like religious morality trumps worker rights in Scotland’s trade union movement – the once proud Scottish labour movement won’t give backing to workers who have sex for a living.
As I’ve written in a number of previous posts: the Labour movement has collapsed into social conservatism. A new progressive movement is needed.
Glasgow, 2nd April, 2013.
STUC Closes Its Door On Sex Workers.
With one week’s notice, STUC have pulled out of their agreement to host a formal discussion bringing together experts on sex work from all over the world.
Despite initial agreement that Sex Worker Open University (SWOU) could host one of its public events at STUC, the Trade Union Congress has made clear their opposition to sex workers’ self-organising.
The event was organised as part of a broader festival that aims to bring awareness on issues affecting sex workers and give voice to those most affected by these issues. The volunteer collective behind the festival is made of sex workers and former sex workers from all sectors of the industry.
The cancellation of the venue has directly impacted the organisation of the festival that is taking place over 5 days in several venues in Glasgow, including the Centre for Contemporary Art and Kinning Park Community Center. Flyers were printed and distributed with the address of STUC. Molly, a current indoor sex worker says: “It’s a slap in the face to have our small marginalised community collective treated this way by such a well-established and powerful organisation. The irony is that many of us are trade union members ourselves!”
Amy, a former street-based sex worker and member of SWOU says: “I am shocked and angry that STUC could pull out with such short notice. Working on the street, I am used to be harassed and pushed out. Being treated the same way by the trade union and women’s groups makes me sick to my stomach.”
Luca, male sex worker and co-founder of SWOU says: “As society is confronted with massive changes due to economic crisis, austerity measures and cuts in public services, trade unions need to support – not shut down – efforts from communities to organise for their rights. We thank Kinning Park Community Complex for offering us an alternative space to hold this event and we invite all those interested in the rights, health and safety of sex workers to attend and learn. This invitation extends to other workers, trade unionists and community members, as well as STUC, as we will continue to fight for our rights as workers.”
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If you would like to speak with the organisers or for us to arrange other interviews
High resolution images at http://www.flickr.com/groups/sexworkeropenuniversity/
Sex Worker Open University (SWOU) website http://www.swou.org
SWOU Glasgow page and full programme: www.glasgowswou.wordpress.org
Full programme: http://glasgowswou.wordpress.com/programme/
Quotes from Organisers and Participants: http://glasgowswou.wordpress.com/quotes-from-organisers-and-participants/
SWOU Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/sexworkeropenuniversity
Main SWOU 2013 Facebook event –http://www.facebook.com/events/
SWOU Twitter – https://twitter.com/SexWorkerOU; Hashtag #sexworkerOU
SWOU Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/groups/sexworkeropenuniversity/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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