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Strippers’ Union Wins Approval for Labor Board Mail-In Election

Oct. 7, 2022, 2:35 PM

The union vying to represent strippers at a Los Angeles club got the go-ahead for an election from a National Labor Relations Board official.

NLRB Regional Director Mori Rubin scheduled a mail ballot for exotic dancers and disc jockeys at Star Garden Topless Dive Bar in a Thursday order. The ballots will be mailed Oct. 14 and counted Nov. 7.

The order setting an election for the dancers to potentially select Actors’ Equity Association as their bargaining representative is a crucial step to making Star Garden the first unionized strip club in the US since 1996, when strippers at the now-defunct Lusty Lady Peepshow in San Francisco formed the Exotic Dancers Union.

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The election is part of an ongoing organized labor expansion into new ground in the retail and service industries, including high-profile union campaigns at Starbucks Corp. coffee shops, Apple Inc. retail stores, and Trader Joe’s grocery stores.

Star Garden didn’t dispute the strippers’ status as employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act. Employment classification has been a heavily litigated issue in the exotic dancing industry and was the subject of a Trump-era NLRB decision that found dancers to be employees under the NLRA.

The club’s attorney, Amy Moor Gaylord of Akerman LLP, and the union’s lawyer, Lisa Demidovich of Bush Gottlieb ALC, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The case is 21st Century Valet Parking, LLC d/b/a Star Garden, N.L.R.B. Reg’l Dir., Case 31-RC-301557, decision and direction of election 10/6/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Iafolla in Washington at riafolla@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Laura D. Francis at lfrancis@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloombergindustry.com