I have heard all of the arguments for and against a union and in looking into it I found a few things….
Nothing I can think of is more American than baseball, and according to numbers released by AVN (The infamous 14 billion dollar figure oft quoted by Forbes and others) porn is larger in terms of money than Baseball, Football, Basketball and Hockey….combined.
But lets use baseball. In the mid 60’s baseball players made, on average $14,000. Admitted that 19K went a LOT further in those days its the equiv of about 100K today…Not bad. Salaries rose over the prior years but not much.
At that time baseball players were not unionized. Many players and people in general thought that unions had outlived their usefulness and that paying more for players would destroy the industry.
After the players unionized salaries began to increase, in 2010 the average salary was $3,300,000 today the average salary is 4,400,000 dollars.
Now think about all the people involved in major league baseball, thats a pretty big business….but by Porn Valleys own accounting baseball is a smaller business than porn.
The average performer salary in porn these days is less than 50,000.
So COULD unionization improve the lives of performers? The answer of course is yes, it certainly could.
I used baseball as an example but you could also contrast it with Hollywood (Mainstream movies) or pretty much any other industry you like and you will find similar outcomes.
Putting aside the current issues with the Performers Union and the growing pains there performers standing together could indeed change the entire industry, for the better. Along with higher pay comes greater expectation, better Directors, potential endorsements, insurance, workplace conditions and in the end a better product. It makes the industry harder to break into but that would be a good thing, specially right now, when we have more performers than we have movies.
There is a move afoot, by the Union, with lawyers attached to file a class action suit for royalties on the behalf of performers. If that succeeds or even makes it into the courtroom it WILL change the biz in a BIG way, far more than Prop 60, and I think in the end, in a far better way than Prop 60. (more on this in the future.)
Despite the aforementioned growing pains the Union seems to be making some progress in much the same way that Unionizing Hollywood and baseball did.
Note I have used the word “could” here not “will” or “would” and therein lies the end result. Will performers come togetherin a manner that unionization would/will improve their lives? Well that’s up to y’all.