LA bar dancers to become only unionized strippers in US

  • Dancers’ votes may result in the first U.S. strippers union since the 1990s
  • Star Garden Topless Dive Bar consented to dancers affiliating with Actors’ Equity
  • Workers cited unsafe stages and sexual harassment, among other issues

Supporters join strippers for a rally outside the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar on August 19, 2022 in North Hollywood, California. – A petition was recently filed by the bar’s strippers for a union recognition election with the National Labour Relations Board and if the dancers win their election with results certified by the NLRB, they will become the only strippers in the United States represented by a union, affiliated with the Actor’s Equity Association which represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers employed in live theater. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — Strippers at a Los Angeles-based adult club will soon receive ballots to hold an election for collective bargaining, which could result in a union after a yearslong battle.

The Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) said attorneys representing the owners of the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar agreed to recognize the union and begin bargaining within 30 days on a first contract.

An official union vote among 19 eligible dancers will be counted on Thursday.

The National Labor Relations Board previously ruled the bar violated labor laws by firing three strippers and locking out 15 others who raised concerns about their health and safety at the bar, according to the Los Angeles Times.

As part of its settlement with the union, the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar will bring back the dancers who were dismissed last year. 

It’s been nearly a year since the dancers at the Los Angeles-based strip club announced their union push, claiming that the club’s security guards failed to protect dancers from threatening and abusive behavior from customers. Workers also protested against unsafe working conditions.

Star Garden dancers will be the first to be represented by AEA, a national labor union that represents more than 51,000 actors and stage managers in live entertainment.

The Star Garden dancers’ successful union drive is the first since the dancers at Lusty Lady in San Francisco formed a labor union in 1996, which lasted until the club’s closing in 2013.

NewsNation affiliate The Hill contributed to this report.


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