Los Angeles – Today, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) at its Los Angeles office counted ballots cast in a union election for strippers employed at the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar in North Hollywood, Calif. The club’s performers had waged a 15-month organizing campaign in an effort to become the nation’s only unionized strippers. The club’s owners had waged objections to the union vote that caused a six-month delay in the NLRB vote count. The final vote tally announced this morning was unanimous, 17-0 in favor of union representation. Every stripper who cast a counted ballot voted to be represented by Actors’ Equity Association.
Earlier this week, lawyers representing the owners of the strip club withdrew all election challenges in a settlement hearing with Actors’ Equity Association attorneys. As part of the settlement, Star Garden’s owners agreed to recognize the union and also agreed to meet with the union across the bargaining table within 30 days to negotiate a first contract. The club also announced its intention to reopen for business and bring back dancers who were dismissed last year.
“It's an incredible victory. Seventeen people who refused to accept an unsafe workplace have now created precedent for an entire industry,” said Actors' Equity Association President Kate Shindle. “I’m not sure that the enormity of what these workers have accomplished has entirely sunk in yet. Their passion and commitment to unionizing this club has shown a global audience that everybody who wants a union deserves a union, and that safety and fairness are fundamental workers’ rights. If the Star Garden strippers could do it, despite the massive and unique barriers to organizing within their industry, so can everybody. I’m so, so proud of them.”
Actors’ Equity Association is a national labor union representing more than 51,000 actors 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 theatres across Southern California and around the country. For more information about Actors’ Equity Association please visit www.actorsequity.org.
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
May 18, 2023