Dancers at a Los Angeles-based adult club become the only strippers to gain union recognition in the U.S. after a yearlong battle.
In a news release on Tuesday, the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) said that 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 had previously ruled the bar violated labor laws by firing three strippers and locking out fifteen 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 dancers who were dismissed last year.
“If you have been following our journey, then you know this has been a long, exhausting fight, which is why this victory is so sweet,” Reagan, one of the Star Garden dancers, said in a statement.
“We put everything we have into this campaign, and we were fortunate to have the support and solidarity from the club’s patrons, our allies and friends, the labor movement and our union, Actors’ Equity Association.”
Star Garden Topless Dive Bar’s 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.
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.
They also protested outside the strip club against unsafe working conditions.
The Star Garden dancers’ successful union drive is the first since the dancers at Lusty Lady in San Francisco formed a own labor union in 1996, which lasted until the club’s closure in 2013.
Labor unions in the United States
National Labor Relations Board
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.