LA strippers look to form first exotic dancers union in decades

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A group of strippers who perform at a Los Angeles topless bar is planning to form a union after walking out on the job to protest work conditions.

The strippers, who routinely appear at Star Garden Topless Dive Bar in North Hollywood, voted to unionize in late March, according to BuzzFeed News.

If successful, they would operate as an independent entity under the auspices of Strippers United, which describes itself as a “diverse and inclusive community of strippers” seeking to “dismantle whorephobia and decriminalize sex work.”

Strippers United is federally recognized by the National Labor Relations Board.

Earlier this week, Star Garden strippers asked management to recognize their union — just weeks after walking out on the job to protest work conditions.

The strippers also filed complaints with California authorities alleging that the club is guilty of several safety violations, including broken glass, furniture with bed bugs, infestation of rats and cockroaches, rusty nails protruding on stage, and white substances falling from the ceiling.

The exotic dancers said they are unionizing in hopes of improving work conditions.
Twitter/@UnionDrip

Exotic dancers at Star Garden have for months chafed at what they say are inadequate working conditions at the San Fernando Valley establishment.

In March, a customer recorded video of a topless dancer at the club and then refused to delete it — a violation of the club’s policy, according to USC Annenberg Media.

When one of the dancers complained to management, she was fired, according to the report. Her fellow dancers, who were also upset that security guards aren’t allowed to intervene without first getting permission from management, decided to strike in protest.

For months, the strippers have complained of poor work conditions at Star Garden in the North Hollywood section of the San Fernando Valley.
For months, the strippers have complained of poor work conditions at Star Garden in the North Hollywood section of the San Fernando Valley.
Facebook/Star Garden

“At the Club, we navigate a room which is regularly full of belligerently drunk men who push our boundaries and often scare us,” the striking strippers wrote in an online petition.

“Our employer should not prioritize customers’ desire for entertainment over our health and safety.”

The petition continued: “When customers become drunk, we expect the bar to cut them off, as is required by law. When customers film us performing without our consent, we need the Club to demand that they stop.”

When the strippers who walked out tried to get back to work, they were prevented from doing so, according to reports.

Strippers allege that one of their colleagues was fired after she complained to management that a customer recorded her on his cell phone.
Strippers allege that one of their colleagues was fired after she complained to management that a customer recorded her on his cell phone.
Facebook/Star Garden

The Post has reached out to Star Garden for comment.

This would be the first time since 1996 that a group of exotic dancers voted to unionize.

According to The Nation, live nude dancers at San Francisco’s Lusty Lady Peepshow club voted to form a union and join the Exotic Dancer’s Alliance, or SEIU Local 790.

One of the unionizing strippers, Antonia Crane, wrote that the union managed to secure a contract that included “regular pay raises, antidiscrimination and grievance policies, and removal of the one-way glass that violated our security and our privacy.”


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