Gracias in North Hollywood, where the dancers at the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar have emerged victorious in their fight to unionize.
This landmark decision makes them the first unionized strippers in the United States.
The battle between the club and the dancers has finally come to an end after a grueling 15-month struggle.
The effort to unionize began in March of last year when the dancers walked off the job, citing concerns that the owners were disregarding their well-being, including issues of safety.
This forced the club to close its doors, and they even filed for bankruptcy during the ongoing negotiations between the dancers, the union, and the club’s owners and lawyers.
Now, after a long and arduous process, the Star Garden dancers have successfully gained union recognition from the Actors Equity Association.
This recognition grants them the ability to address their various concerns, such as fair compensation, improved security measures, and protection against sexual harassment.
It is worth noting that the dancers at the Star Garden are not the first to seek union recognition.
Strippers at San Francisco’s The Lusty Lady organized the Exotic Dancers Union back in 1997.
However, that establishment closed its doors in 2013.
The President of the Actors Equity Association, Kate Shindle, expressed her support for the Star Garden dancers, emphasizing that every worker who desires a union deserves one.
She praised the dancers for their unwavering dedication throughout the process and expressed her delight at the recognition of their rights to safety, democracy in the workplace, and representation at the bargaining table.
With the union now recognized, the Star Garden dancers will be able to sit down at the bargaining table and negotiate a contract that addresses their needs.
This historic decision sets a precedent for other dancers across the country who may seek to unionize in the future.
The victory of the Star Garden dancers marks a significant step forward for the rights and protections of sex workers in the entertainment industry.
While actors portraying strippers and sex workers on stage receive prestige and union contracts, this recognition has been lacking for the actual workers.
With the successful unionization of the Star Garden dancers, there is hope for a more equitable and secure future for all individuals in the industry.
Reporting live from North Hollywood, I’m G Gracias.