Strippers fear being left out in cold if Tower Hamlets closes clubs

07:00 24 April 2012

Trade unions are defending strippers against their adult entertainment clubs in London’s East End being shut down.

They fear 1,000 strippers could be left out in the cold if Tower Hamlets council closes strip clubs and bars by refusing operating licenses.

So the GMB and Equity unions are mobilising the strippers and nude dancers to take the fight to Parliament.

The strippers held a public meeting in a community centre to explain what they do.

The women deny claims by anti-striptease campaigners that they’re being exploited—they perform naked by choice, they told the packed meeting at St Margaret’s House in Bethnal Green last Thursday.

GMB organiser Keith Henderson said his union would take the fight to Westminster if the local authority refused to license the clubs operating legitimately.

“The GMB is ready to make a legal challenge in Parliament to change the law,” he said. “I am very proud to organise sex workers in this fight to protect their jobs.”

Edie Lamort from Equity talked about previously working in office jobs without employment rights and the contradiction now having to justify herself as a stripper.

Labour MP John McDonnell expressed solidarity at the meeting and highlighted “the double standard morality” between pressure to close the clubs because of nudity and companies making “immoral profit” over health and safety.

The MP added: “The Olympics are being used to ‘cleanse’ east London of sex establishments, but no word is said against multi-national companies using the 2012 Games for profit and to exploit workers.”

The public talk has kicked off a counter campaign to oppose “prohibitionist measures” in order to save eight strip clubs, which are themselves prepared for action in the High Court—and even take their case to the European Court, the meeting heard.

Stripper Clare Roderick later told the Advertiser: “It doesn’t make sense closing down the clubs in a recession.

“There will be 1,000 dancers thrown out of work if all the clubs in Tower Hamlets are shut.

“It’s lucrative work for us—not to be confused with brothels. I live comfortably working just five or six nights a month as a nude dancer.

“Local authorities don’t have the right to dictate our way of life.”

The strippers are now waiting for the council’s response to a second round of public consultation. The first round last summer, they complain, went ahead without the girls themselves being asked if they were being exploited.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

500 clowns embarked upon Mexico City with the hope that their laughter would be infectious.

Read more

cadbury’s have installed a giant spider’s web at The Shard, to make Halloween even scarier – and our teeth rot even more.

Read more

Will Cesc out-perform Angel? Will Sunderland be utterly rubbish again? And surely Erik Lamela can’t repeat *that* goal…

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

The family to which Ebola belongs could be as old as 23 million years.

The gaming industry’s answer to the Oscars has dished out its annual awards.

Potential female candidates are already being prepared for the upcoming diocese vacancies in Southwell, Nottingham, Gloucester and Oxford.

Watch the moment the Shadow Chancellor got interrupted by a daring arachnid.

TOP Stories

17:48
The man stole the bus from south-east London (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A double decker bus was stolen and taken for a rather long drive in south-east London, through picturesque villages, before being dumped in a bus stop - with £500 worth of damage.

14:24
The 91-year-old gave the cyclist a wallop

After Baroness Sharples bragged about walloping a cyclist, London24’s cycling blogger AViewOfLondon has this to say...

14:03
Police are keen to talk to this man who was seen leaving the building at around the time of the assault [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

Police are hunting a pervert who pretended he was a plumber before sexually assaulting a schoolgirl in a Bethnal Green flat.

London Bloggers

14:24
The 91-year-old gave the cyclist a wallop

After Baroness Sharples bragged about walloping a cyclist, London24’s cycling blogger AViewOfLondon has this to say...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.