June 16, 2021

The Supreme Court recognizes the right to unionize hostess workers, porn actors and autonomous prostitutes



Hostess workers, porn actors and actresses, and those who provide services in “massage centers” have the right to freedom of association, that is, to form and participate in unions. So do the prostitutes who work as freelancers (although self-employed workers do not have an employment relationship with the same characteristics and their union does not have the same consequences). This is what the Supreme Court confirms in the ruling in which it validates the statutes of the sex workers union OTRAS, which was fully known this Thursday and which corrects the decision that the National Court had taken in 2018.

The heart of the conflict was in Article 4 of the statutes, which defined the functional scope of the union: “activities related to sex work in all its aspects.” An explanation that, the union pointed out, includes, in addition to prostitution, activities such as hostess work, erotic dancing, porn actors and actresses and those who provide services in massage centers. OTHERS accepted that, in the case of prostitution, it was not possible to include ‘salaried’ prostitutes since in Spain prostitution contracts would be classified as null since it is not considered a work activity.

Both the plaintiffs, the March 8 Platform and the Commission for the Investigation of Ill-treatment of Women, which are part of the State Platform of Women’s Organizations for the Abolition of Prostitution) and the Prosecutor’s Office argued that the approval of the statutes of OTRAS implied de facto the legalization of prostitution in Spain. The National Court then pointed out that freedom of association is a fundamental right, but that to exercise it there must be an employment relationship. If there is no contract or possible employment relationship (as in the case of prostitution), there is no valid union. The statutes of OTRAS were annulled.

The Supreme, however, reverses that decision. It argues that the case must examine whether these statutes are valid: it is not the object of this litigation to decide whether or not prostitution is a job, but whether people who work in the field described by OTRAS have the right to freedom of association. The answer of the High Court is yes.

“The wording of the questioned precept of the Statutes must be considered in accordance with the Law, provided that it is used correctly,” says the Supreme Court, since “sex work in all its aspects” can only be understood as that which is provided by employed by someone else and complies with the characteristics of an employment relationship, a concept in which prostitution has no place. That is, the people who perform sexual jobs such as those mentioned in the procedure – hostess workers, porn actors and actresses or erotic dancers – “enjoy the fundamental right to freedom of association, and have the right to organize. And, he insists, within those statutes there is no place for prostitution for others, unless the legislator considers at some point that prostitution for others is legal.

The judgment defends freedom of association as a fundamental right to be protected especially: “The defense of freedom of association, as a fundamental right, discourages restrictive interpretations of it, such as the one assumed by the judgment under appeal, by assuming that the Statutes of OTHERS are contemplating the association of people who carry out an activity contrary to the Law, that it is thus legalized and that those who engage in criminally persecuted conduct obtain a defense “.

.



Source link