Unions have been all the rage for the last handful of years now, with attempts being made in industries like video game design and car-share driving to Amazon. Now add strippers to the list. As per The Wrap, employees at a Los Angeles have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to be represented by Actors Equity, the union for live performers.
The move comes after months of protesting by the staff at the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar, located in North Hollywood:
Since March, strippers at Star Garden have protested against their employers over various issues including wage theft and a failure by the bar’s security to protect them from unruly patrons. This week, a majority of the bar’s 30 performers, with the assistance of the advocacy group Strippers United, filed to hold a unionization vote with the National Labor Relations Board. In the meantime, the strippers say they will continue protesting and organizing other workers.
Staff at the club have said their options should be better. “We like what we do,” said one of the venue’s dancers, who goes by Velveeta. “We would like our jobs even more if we had basic worker protections. We’re like so many other workers who have learned that it’s not a choice between suffering abuse or quitting. With a union, together, we can make needed improvements to our workplace.”
The majority of the Star Garden’s dancers have reportedly signed the petition. Should the unionization vote pass, they would become the first successful strippers union since the staff at the (since closed) Lusty Lady in San Francisco voted to join SEIU in 1996.
(Via The Wrap)