Topless dancers at North Hollywood bar seek to be only unionized strippers in US


NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Dancers at a topless bar in North Hollywood filed a petition Wednesday for a union recognition election, in a transfer union officers mentioned might make them the only strippers in the United States represented by a union.

If the National Labor Relations Board grants the petition and dancers at the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar vote to unionize, their bargaining unit would be affiliated with Actors’ Equity Association, the nationwide labor union representing greater than 51,000 skilled actors and stage managers employed in stay theater.

“Strippers are live entertainers, and while some aspects of their job are unique, they have much in common with other Equity members who dance for a living,” Actors’ Equity Association President Kate Shindle mentioned.

“In my conversations with them, these dancers reported consistent compensation issues — including significant wage theft — along with health and safety risks and violations,” she added.

“They want health insurance and other benefits, like workers’ compensation. They need protection from sexual harassment, discrimination and unjust terminations. Equity is well situated to advocate for these workers, and we are excited to welcome them into the labor movement at this extraordinary time. We applaud their efforts to seize their collective power and unionize, like so many others across the country who are fed up with toxic workplaces. When they approached us for support, we did what unions should do: we said yes.”

Starbucks employees in Southern California on strike over alleged unfair labor practices

The union is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

Dancers at Star Garden started picketing outdoors the membership in March to protest alleged unsafe working situations with the help of Strippers United, a company that advocates for strippers’ rights. The membership’s dancers say they aren’t adequately protected against threatening and abusive conduct by patrons.

Club administration couldn’t be reached for remark.

If the NLRB schedules an election date and certifies {that a} majority of the roughly 30 Star Garden dancers eligible to vote have elected Equity as their bargaining consultant, the newly unionized strippers would then start negotiating their first contract with Star Garden’s administration.

Strippers at San Francisco’s Lusty Lady organized the Exotic Dancers Union in 1996. They have been affiliated with the Service Employees International Union. The Lusty Lady closed in 2013.

A rally in assist of the dancers is scheduled for Friday night outdoors Equity’s North Hollywood workplace, after which Shindle and Equity members will be a part of dancers on the picket line at the bar, which is positioned at 6630 Lankershim Blvd.

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