Former Spearmint Rhino dancer sues club in labor dispute

By Scott Hadly (Contact)
Thursday, July 30, 2009

A former exotic dancer for the Spearmint Rhino in Oxnard has sued the adult nightclub chain in federal court, saying she and other dancers should be given rights as regular employees.

The woman, who is referred to in the suit as Jane Doe 2, is one of two women who say dancers at the company’s clubs in California and Nevada worked like regular employees but were treated like independent contractors.

“It’s commonly done in clubs,” said Hart Robinovitch, the women’s Arizona attorney. “They have them contract out their services, but under federal law if someone job matches the characteristics of an employee they are an employee.”

The two women are seeking back wages, tips, attorney fees and damages, but no amount is specified. Continue reading

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German prostitutes defend ‘flat rate’ brothels

Reuters | 07/27/2009 3:37 PM

BERLIN – Prostitutes in Germany are fighting back against attempts by conservative politicians and some irate residents to stop popular “flat-rate” brothels.

Officials in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg launched moves to stop one brothel with a “flat-rate” fee system because they viewed it as inhumane for women to provide unlimited sexual services all day for a one-off 70 euros ($100) fee.

But a group of 77 prostitutes bought advertising space in two national dailies to argue that this was simply a ruse to get brothels banned altogether.

“Get off our backs — no ban on brothels with or without ‘flat rates’,” read the headline in the quarter-page adverts. Under the guise of ‘humane working conditions’, they are in reality plotting to ban brothels and threaten our livelihood.” Continue reading

German brothels’ offer: unlimited sex for flat rate

July 29, 2009

In Germany, where prostitution is legal, the global recession has pushed brothel operators to come up with this innovation: unlimited sex for a fixed price.

It’s prostitution’s take on all-you-can-eat dining.

The daytime rate is $100 for all the sex — as well as food and drink — that customers want between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. At night, the price rises to $150.

German brothel owners are trying to boost business that’s dropped by about 30 percent since the recession. They’ve also tried to entice customers with offers including 10 percent discounts for men who show up on a bicycle or who use public transportation.

Some German politicians don’t like it. “This is an outrageous violation of human dignity,” Heribert Rech, the Baden-Wurttemberg interior minister, told London’s Times Online.

“So-called flat-rate sex is an immoral development which cannot be tolerated in our society.”

See original at Chicago Sun Times

Congressman Attacks NIH Funding for Study on Prostitutes

July 24, 2009

Studies of sex workers and drug abusers are an easy target, and today a conservative member of Congress took pot shots at three such overseas projects—all part of the U.S.-funded effort to understand and halt the spread of HIV/AIDS. Representative Darrell Issa (R–CA) was successful in stripping the relevant grant money from the House of Representatives bill that funds the National Institutes of Health.

Issa, who sponsored an amendment to kill the grants, criticized them as repetitive and wasteful—saying it isn’t necessary to buy a $9000 plane ride to Thailand to observe prostitutes’ behavior. (One of his targets was an NIH-funded Continue reading

Mommy does Dallas

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 14:09 PDT
From Salon’s Broadsheet

Here’s a knotty — and partly NSFW — saga from the city by the bay. Back in April, Matt Smith of the San Francisco Weekly revealed that California state government funding designed to make businesses more competitive had (long story short) gone to subsidize job training in multimedia technology — for the employees of Kink.com, a pornography business that runs BDSM and other fetish-related websites. “California’s government has been subsidizing torture-based pornography,” Smith wrote.

“I choose to do porn. But I meet people a lot who have seen my asshole before looking in my eyes, and the exposure of my name truly made me feel scared.”

But that’s not the story! Smith’s piece — an arguably not-so-rich blend of reporting and opinion, which actually lost Kink.com this funding — made a lot of people angry, including a Hollywood-based fetish and bondage model/dominatrix/actor/blogger known as Mz Berlin, who, along with her peers, took serious issue with Smith’s apparent conflation of consensual (if unconventional) sex with non-consensual abuse. Continue reading

SA: ‘Children used for sex’

July 08 2009 at 12:04PM
By Fouzia van der Fort

Children are being smuggled underground to have sex with illegal miners who live and work in disused mine shafts, says the director-general for the Department of Mineral Resources, Advocate Sandile Nogxina.

Nogxina was presenting a departmental report to a public hearing on illegal mining at parliament on Tuesday.

Johnny Ramrock, secretary for the portfolio committee of mining, told the Cape Argus this was the first the committee had heard of underground sex work involving children.

Last month 86 bodies were recovered after an underground fire broke out in Harmony Gold’s disused Eland Shaft at Welkom in the Free State. and more than 300 illegal miners were arrested. Continue reading

Child labor in Lebanon: A breakdown

Posted July 6th, 2009

Lebanon has the highest proportion of working kids aged 10 to 17 in the world, with over 100,000 children in the country who are victims of child labor and illicit trafficking. Rights groups say better coverage of the often misreported story could help inform people about the realities of child labor.
By SIMBA RUSSEAU

BEIRUT, July 6, 2009 (MENASSAT) — In Lebanon, there are over 100,000 children who are victims of child labor and illicit trade, vulnerable to exploitation and working in hazardous conditions. Lebanon has the highest proportion of working kids aged 10 to 17 in the world.

Omar is a 14 year-old shoe shiner from Syria. His hands, face and clothes are covered in dirt and he can sometimes be seen squatting in a corner on the sidewalk with a look of deep sadness.

Normally, he wanders up and down the different posh neighborhoods of Beirut, sometimes for eleven hours a day carrying a shoe cleaning kit while begging for clients. Continue reading