fbpx Unionized North Hollywood strippers go on strike
The Votes Are In!
2023 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
View Winners →
Vote for your favorite business!
2023 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
Start voting →
Subscribeto our newsletter to stay informed
  • Enter your phone number to be notified if you win
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Home / News / Business / Unionized North Hollywood strippers go on strike

Unionized North Hollywood strippers go on strike

by City News Service
share with

Months after dancers at the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar voted unanimously to become the nation’s only unionized strippers, the North Hollywood club’s entertainers are striking over alleged unfair labor practices, attorneys said Friday.

The walkout is scheduled to last through Saturday with picketing expected outside the bar.

Lawyers for the Actors’ Equity Association, which represents the Star Garden strippers, say they’ve filed multiple charges with the National Labor Relations Board over the club’s alleged interference with employees’ ability to earn cash tips.

The union also alleges disciplinary actions were taken against dancers contrary to the club’s longstanding policies and that the club owner has refused entry to some union supporters and charged other union supporters higher fees than other customers.

Calls to the club — which is closed for business during the labor action — went unanswered.

In May, following 15 months of street protests by Star Garden’s dancers, largely over unsafe conditions, arbitrary dismissals and poor working conditions. Star Garden’s owners reached a settlement with the union and agreed to continue the club’s operations, negotiate a contract with the union and to bring back dancers who were dismissed.

Contract negotiations began in August and the club reopened that same month. Contract talks are ongoing with the next bargaining session scheduled Tuesday.

“Since reopening, the club owner has repeatedly violated the settlement agreement,” Actors’ Equity Association President Kate Shindle said in a statement.

“The dancers we represent, like other workers, deserve to be treated fairly and with respect for their fundamental rights. That’s not happening. We’ve filed charges with the NLRB and this weekend our members will be picketing outside the club. Instead of performing on the Star Garden stage, they will be dancing in the streets.”

In March 2022, the roughly 30 dancers at Star Garden began picketing outside the club to protest alleged unsafe working conditions with the assistance of Strippers United, an organization that advocates for strippers’ rights. The club’s dancers said they were not adequately protected from threatening and abusive behavior by patrons.

A few months later, the dancers affiliated with Actors’ Equity and filed a petition with the NLRB, seeking to have a union recognition election.

In May, a day after club owners withdrew their opposition, the NLRB certified a vote by the club’s dancers, making them the only strippers in the nation to be represented by a union.

Dancers at Star Garden voted unanimously to unionize with the Actors’ Equity, which represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers nationally.

The Star Garden dancers are not the first strippers to ever unionize. Strippers at San Francisco’s Lusty Lady organized the Exotic Dancers Union in 1996. They were affiliated with the Service Employees International Union. The Lusty Lady closed in 2013.

More from Business

Skip to content