The Erotic Service Providers Union (ESPU) is by an for those who labor erotically to gain agency through industrial organizing for our occupational, social, and economic rights through affiliating with organized labor. Founded Nov. 2004 in San Francisco, California
Summer Institute For Union Women Sonoma State July10-14, 2018
Summer Union School 2015
We need our own agency in order to advocate for our occupational, heath, safety, social, civil and economic rights because nobody else is going to do it for us.
Our issues are similar to those other organized labor groups have faced and fought successfully. They have gained their occupational and human rights and so shall we.
To gain access to organized labor unions that support our rights because they know that if we are free in accessing our rights, all labor will have greater freedom in accessing their rights.
It is the only way to protect ourselves from being ghettoized as in the Nevada and Australian capitalist models.
To limit the harassment we endure professionally and personally as we organize for our collective rights. We don’t have to expose our private lives and our economy in order to fight for our rights. Use your stage name.
We must collectively prioritize our own issues.
This business of health care providers deciding for us that stopping the spread of HIV as a priority is really a smoke screen to divert our attention away from the fact that these same social service providers get paid money to deliver services we’ve had access to. And, by do so, health care providers frame our issues and policy around HIV and other STD prevention and treatment. By naming this priority it only reinforces the idea that sex industry workers are the vectors of diseases and a threat to public health when there is no research to support such actions. When health care providers prioritize our issues for us, it results in enforcering the idea that we are invisable. This partronizing oppression supports the justification to continue the ban our right to be self determined while negotiating for our own labor and safe work conditions because by doing so we can be arrest for possession of safety devices such as condoms which can be used as evidence of intent to a crime.
We need to unionize to get equal treatment in healthcare that doesn’t criminalize our providers.
We need to unionize to get disability compensation as well as pension plans that we want.
We need to unionize to force government agencies to stop enforcing bad laws that are used as weapons against us and start enforcing the criminal and white collar laws against those who bring us harm.
What is a Union? Wikipedia’s Definition
What does organizing Erotic Service Providers Look Like?
Right now it looks like Industrial Union Organizing. Which is organzing all who labor erotically together dispite our different type of craft or work venues, strip clubs, massage parlors, independents, porn performers, brothel workers,
Who’s the Boss? Well depending on your perspective or location withing the professional erotic laborer community. If you work in a occupation that illegal, then the police are your boss because they enforce the ban on your occupation. This generally means those who provide prostituiton services. Since the tax payers pay the police to enforce the anti prostitution laws, the tax payers are your ultimate boss.
If you work in the ‘legal’ or state sanctioned venues, then both the worker and the operator are regulated by the state, so it looks like the tax payers are your boss with the police being the enforcers once again.
All Erotic Service Providers would do well to discuss the common economy that matters to us better understand how regulating one part of the industry effects rest. For example, in the recent passing of US House Bill 2257, a whole new set of regulations aimed at the online porn industry to prevent models who were under 18 from participating. This resulted in all webmasters on all adult website being mandated to maintain proof of photo identification of anyone on their site in file at business location to be viewed during regular business hours. Well separate from the fact that most ESPs donâ€™t get out of bed before noon creating a built in set up for failure of compliance; this regulation has had the effect of forming or further defining the role of third party bosses to enforce the governments’ laws on all the adult entertainment sites under the guise of protecting the public. The compliance of this law now puts anyone who advertises on adult website at risk for privacy intrusions and exposure for things like custody disputes.
One of the reasons we include support staff of erotic service providers is that operators of adult service industries do not always act within the capacity of a traditional boss. Traditional bosses usually owns the business, sets the rates or the wages and work conditions, hires and fires, enforces work place practices.
Popular myth has it that pimps and madams are in control. But are they?
Most contracts between workers and support staff by their nature are collaborative and cooperative and not in writing. In some parts of the industry, one can’t get paid without the help or services of the other.
What about the independent workers? Who is their boss, who has control, over rates, advertising options, location, venues, or otherwise know as work conditions? It could be the customer who controls the rates/services through their collective bargaining agreements amongst themselves. So that would make them our boss. The location and times to work could be determined by the landlords, land owners and neighbors. Advertisers often become a third party boss which in turn can limit options, i.e. income for workers because of required resources outlay first as well as turn around time of publications. Some advertisers are subject to local or state regulations which dictates who is eligible to use their services as well distribution of the advertising.
So in pondering who is the boss, it would behoove all erotic service providers to come together by trade and industry, locally and internationally to assess these important issues and afford ourselves the opportunity to effect our lives for the better.
In looking at other organizing models that us support staff, we can look at the Writers Guild of America
Here we see that workers keep a list of recommended agents workers can hire to help promote their work.
What does collective bargaining look like for ESPU?