Topless dancers in the North Hollywood bar only want to be unionized strippers in the US

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Dancers at a topless bar in North Hollywood on Wednesday petitioned for a union-recognition election, which union officials say could make them the only strippers in the United States who are represented by a union.

If the National Labor Relations Board allows the petition and the dancers at the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar vote to unionize, their bargaining unit would be affiliated with the Actors’ Equity Association, the national union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers working at Live performances are busy theaters.

“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,” said Kate Shindle, President of the Actors’ Equity Association.

“In my conversations with them, these dancers reported ongoing 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 unfair dismissals. Equity is well placed to advocate for these workers and we are delighted to welcome them to 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 jobs. When they asked us for support, we did what unions should do: we said yes.”

Starbucks workers in Southern California are on strike over alleged unfair labor practices

The union is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

Dancers at the Star Garden began picketing outside the club in March to protest alleged unsafe working conditions with the support of Strippers United, an organization that campaigns for strippers’ rights. The club’s dancers say they are not adequately protected from threatening and abusive behavior by guests.

Club management could not be reached for comment.

If the NLRB schedules an election date and certifies that a majority of the approximately 30 eligible Star Garden dancers have elected Equity as their negotiating agent, the newly unionized strippers would begin negotiating their first contract with Star Garden management.

Strippers in San Francisco’s Lusty Lady organized the Exotic Dancers Union in 1996. They belonged to the Service Employees International Union. The Lusty Lady closed in 2013.

A rally in support of the dancers is scheduled for Friday night outside Equity’s North Hollywood office, after which members of Shindle and Equity will join the dancers on the picket line at the bar, located at 6630 Lankershim Blvd.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

Copyright © 2022 City News Service, Inc. All rights reserved. Topless dancers in the North Hollywood bar only want to be unionized strippers in the US

Laura Coffey

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