It’s About Damn Time: North Hollywood Strippers Unionize

The dancers at a Los Angeles bar may soon become the only unionized stripper group in the United States, after a long fight. Via Associated Press:

The Actors’ Equity Association says the owners of the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar in North Hollywood have withdrawn their opposition and agreed to recognize the strippers’ union.

For 15 months, the club’s dancers demanded safer working conditions, better pay and health insurance, among other benefits. But their organizing drive was stalled by objections and legal challenges from club management.

The union announced this week that management had agreed to a settlement. An official vote count by the National Labor Relations Board has been set for Thursday.

This is not a joke. Strippers have dangerous working conditions:

Lilith recalled a handful of examples that put her and other dancers at risk while on the job, including a lack of adequate protection from sexual harassment and assault often experienced by dancers. Star Garden management told dancers they couldn’t go straight to security when they felt unsafe, Lilith said – noting they were rather in charge of going to the directionwho would decide “whether it was a serious enough case for security to intervene”.

Customers were also allowed to stay in the bar after closing which made the dancers feel unsafe as customers could see them dressed “out of our stripper personas” and identify the cars they drove when they got home, she says. According to Lilith, a dancer was fired for raising concerns about this to management. Another dancer was fired for intervening when she noticed a client filming a colleague on stage without her consent, she added.

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