BRITAIN’S fourth-biggest trade union backed the legalisation of prostitution yesterday.
The policy was passed by delegates at Usdaw’s conference in Blackpool against the wishes of the union’s leaders.
General secretary John Hannett spoke against the motion and proposer Karen Heppell said she had been asked to withdraw it.
Ms Heppell called on the union to “stop brushing the issue under the carpet,” however, arguing that prostitutes should have the same employment rights as other workers.
“We are asking that small collectives of men and women are allowed to work safely together,” said the Yorkshire Sainsbury’s delegate.
Mr Hannett insisted prostitution could not be compared to other professions. He said: “How would you feel if your grandson or grandaughter came and said: ‘It’s fine now because we have good employment rights’?”
Too close to call by a show of hands, the issue was decided by a card vote, in which the motion was passed by 206,938 to 158,938.