Exotic dancers protesting the Star Gardens club in North Hollywood recently stood on their picket line dressed as OSHA inspectors and rusty nails, saying they’ve been locked out of their club and striking since March 18, Jezebel reports.
The labor conflict began last month after two dancers, Selena and Reagan, were fired. A note on the dancers’ Instagram account says Selena was fired after “intervening” when a customer was filming her without her consent. Reagan was fired after she asked the club to stop allowing men to loiter in the club after closing—a safety hazard to the women working there.
After 19 out the 24 remaining dancers signed a petition asking for safety and other improvements to the club, the club owners locked them out.
Dancers take issue with their working conditions, which they say includes insects and rodents, broken debris, and a hole in the stage. They are also concerned about their personal safety: dancers are against a club policy that doesn’t let security guards intervene when customers harass without getting owner permission. They also want the bar to stop over-serving customers, and for photography to be banned from the club.
“We can’t report directly to security, [and] a lot of issues we face are immediate, like physical harm,” said Sofia, a Star Gardens dancer, per Knock-LA. “My impression is that [management] have always placed profit over our safety. They act as though if we don’t make the quota then [we can be] fired at any moment.”
The dancers have filed for five unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board.
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