Los Angeles – The National Labor Relations Board has approved a petition for a union recognition election by workers employed at the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar seeking to be represented by the Actors’ Equity Association. The approved bargaining unit includes both the dancers and DJs who work full or part time at the club, which is located in North Hollywood, CA. If workers choose to be represented by a union and the NLRB certifies the election results, the Star Garden dancers would become the only strippers currently unionized in the United States.
Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters on October 14. All ballots must be received by the NLRB on or before November 4. Votes will be counted by the NLRB on November 7, beginning at 2 pm PT.
"Every worker who wants a union deserves a union, including the live performers in strip clubs. This decision moves us one step closer," said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association. “The employer deployed every tactic they could think of to stall or prevent a union election, choosing to allocate resources to a union-busting law firm instead of simply negotiating a fair contract with their workers. This ruling by the NLRB affirms that the Star Garden dancers have the right to vote on whether our union will represent them. Equity is eager to join them at the bargaining table to secure a contract that provides protections against discrimination and harassment, addresses health and safety concerns, and spells out wages, benefits and other specifics. I'm tremendously inspired by their passion and commitment, their collective conscience and the incredible solidarity I witness every time we meet with them, whether on Zoom or on the picket line."
Equity first announced that it was organizing the workers at Star Garden on August 17, following months of picketing on the part of the strippers who had been locked out of their jobs.
Equity was confident that the labor board would accept the union’s petition.
Organizing dancers employed in a strip club is a first for the 51,000-member Actors’ Equity Association, a union with more than a century of history. Equity is affiliated with the AFL-CIO and renowned for representing actors and stage managers on Broadway; as well as in dozens of smaller theaters across Southern California; on stages at Disneyworld in Orlando; and prominent regional theaters across the country such as the Guthrie in Minneapolis and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. www.actorsequity.org #EquityWorks
October 10, 2022