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May Day 2009: Rights and Respect for ALL Workers

red umbrella only rights can stop the wrongs


Happy May Day. Happy International Labor Day.

I was thinking about the red umbrella image that I associate with sex worker rights and how the symbolism and the slogan are significant beyond that one very important movement. The umbrella of labor rights needs to cover all marginalized workers who are currently without protection of their basic rights.

I'm thinking especially of the connections between sex work and migrant work. Both categories of workers are so often targets of stigma, scapegoating, and abuse.

Imagine a labor movement that gathered up all workers and fought for their safety, their dignity, and their right to a decent standard of living. Imagine uniting workers around the globe so that employers could no longer exploit workers in one nation to undercut workers in another. Imagine not being arrested, deported, beat up, or murdered because of your work.

The right to work is a basic human right. The right to autonomy and control over one's body is a basic human right. A decent standard of living, physical safety, and personal freedom should all be basic human rights.

My wish for today is that we each do something, anything, that honors or celebrates the dignity of those whose work is stigmatized or made invisible. And if you get a moment, drop by in the comments and let us know what you did. 

In solidarity,


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