Nation’s Only Unionized Strippers to Stage Unfair Labor Practice Strike in LA December 7 - 9

Los Angeles – Seven months after dancers employed by the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar voted unanimously to become the nation’s only unionized strippers, the club’s dancers will go on strike over unfair labor practices. The strike is scheduled to last for one weekend, December 7 - 9.  Picketing will begin outside the North Hollywood club on Thursday, Dec 7, at 8 p.m.
Lawyers for the Actors’ Equity Association, which represents the Star Garden strippers, have filed multiple charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over the club’s bad faith bargaining; for interfering with employees’ ability to earn cash tips; for taking disciplinary actions against employees contrary to the employer’s longstanding policies; and for the club owner refusing entry to some union supporters and charging other union supporters higher fees than other patrons; among other unfair practices. 

WHO: Strippers striking the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar, supportive customers; leaders of the Actors’ Equity Association including President Kate Shindle and Executive Director Al Vincent, Jr., joined by other Equity members and union supporters.

WHAT: Unfair labor practice strike picket line and protest. 

WHEN/WHERE: Thurs., Dec. 7, beginning at 8 p.m., in front of the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar, 6630 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood.

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 Equity and to bring back dancers who were dismissed. Contract negotiations began in August and the club reopened that same month. Contract talks are ongoing.

“Since reopening, the club owner has repeatedly violated the settlement agreement,” said Actors’ Equity Association President Kate Shindle. “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 of 2022, when Star Garden’s security guards repeatedly refused to protect dancers from threatening and abusive behavior from patrons and the club’s owners failed to address unsafe and unhealthy work conditions, Star Garden’s dancers launched their first picket line outside the club. 
In August of 2022 the dancers affiliated with Actors’ Equity Association and filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), seeking to have a union recognition election. 

Actors’ Equity Association is a national labor union representing more than 51,000 actors, dancers and stage managers in live entertainment. The century-old union is affiliated with the AFL-CIO labor federation and renowned for representing members working on Broadway and on tour; on stages at Walt Disney World; as well as in dozens of smaller houses and prominent regional theaters across Southern California and around the country.

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.  #EquityWorks

December 4, 2023