Dancers in a Los Angeles bar may soon become the only unionized group of strippers in the United States.
The owners of the Star Garden topless dive bar in North Hollywood have withdrawn their protest and agreed to recognize the stripper’s union, the Actors’ Equity Association labor union says.
For 15 months, local dancers have demanded safer working conditions, better pay and health insurance, among other benefits. But their attempt to form a union stalled due to objections lodged by the site’s management and legal challenges.
The union announced this week that management has agreed to a settlement. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) set the formal vote count for Thursday.
Dancer Lilith at Star Garden said, “We hope that what we’ve done to unite this club sets the stage for any other strippers in the country who decide that they too want to run their workplace.” want to raise their voice in the way of , to The Associated Press. Lilith asked not to be identified by her legal name for fear of being harassed. AP is aware of his legal name.
Upon certification, the Star Garden dancers will join Actors’ Equity, which represents more than 51,000 entertainment workers nationwide.
The Starr Garden case is not the first time strippers in the United States have sought union recognition. In the late 1990s, dancers from San Francisco’s Lusty Lady organized the Exotic Dancers Union. But the club closed in 2017, so if the NLRB certifies the results on Thursday, as planned, the Star Garden dancers will be the only unionized strippers in the country today.
Actors Equity said the Star Garden dancers’ fight lasted until March 2022 after the club’s security guards “repeatedly failed” to protect dancers from abusive or threatening behavior by patrons, and fired the complainants from management. given.
“The best thing about Star Garden is… this is where the dancers are allowed to express themselves creatively. And all my companions looked after each other; It was like a little family from the start,” Lilith said. “So when we started to realize that we all had some safety concerns, it didn’t take long for us to come together and decide that we had to deal with it.” Something has to be done about it.”