April 19, 2022 | 2 minutes read | Tags: Class struggle in Britain

On The Edinburgh Nil-Cap Decision and the Labour Rights of Sex Workers

Bourgeois governments see the rights of sex workers in the same way that they see the rights of workers outside the sex trade—with complete disregard and contempt for the people.

On The Edinburgh Nil-Cap Decision and the Labour Rights of Sex Workers

On the 31st of March, the Edinburgh City Council (ECC) decided to approve an amendment which would permanently close the four remaining strip clubs in the city, thereby terminating the regular employment of all Edinburgh dancers. This comes amidst a national crisis of rising costs of living and the continuing disintegration of the welfare state under several conservative governments. According to the United Sex Workers (USW), an organisation that represents the labour interests of sex workers across Britain, this decision was also carried out despite protests and objections from Edinburgh dancers. These workers spoke of how a policy such as this would serve to make their lives more precarious instead of more secure.

Although the ECC justified the passage of this amendment on the basis that it would bolster women's safety, the USW points out that this would force Edinburgh dancers (who are mostly women) into more precarious employment situations. Such a thing would happen to any worker who found that their source of employment was swiftly and suddenly taken away from them. As of the amendment's passage, USW is seeking judicial action against the ECC on the basis that it constitutes discrimination against women and violates the Equality Act of 2010.

In this process, we can see that the bourgeois governments who rule over us see the rights of sex workers in the same way that they see the rights of workers outside the sex trade. That is to say, they view labour rights with complete disregard and contempt for the people who would benefit from their existence. Additionally, they operate with a paternalistic delusion that they know the workers' situation and needs better than the workers themselves.

“As a communist party, Red Fightback supports the decriminalisation of sex work, alongside the rights of sex workers to self-determination, unionisation, and emancipation. We strive and fight for a world free from all forms of exploitation and alienation”, Red Fightback’s Past and Present Sex Workers’ Caucus commented in response to this latest attack on workers.

We fight for a world where labour is used for the fulfilment of humanity's social needs, rather than the creation of exchange value for the bourgeois class. Until that world is won through the deliberate organisation of the popular masses against the forces of capital, we must support all proletarian efforts of self-defence against bourgeois attack. As such, Red Fightback stands with the USW and dancers of Edinburgh against the actions of the Edinburgh City Council.

If you wish to help in this struggle, please sign this petition started by the United Voices of the World (the USW's parent organisation) and voice your opposition to the use of nil-cap policies. You can also find out more about the United Sex Workers and the work that they do here. Be sure to be aware of the labour struggles which are undergoing in your area as well. Remember that a better world and better future are possible, but only if the total strength of the masses is utilised in its realisation and construction. Solidarity forever.