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.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Boris Johnson has today unveiled plans for the two giant traffic-busting tunnels (Picture: PA Images)

Fed up with the traffic en route to work? Boris Johnson may have the answer. The London mayor has just unveiled plans for two huge tunnels which would run under London and make commuting easier.

Monday, January 25, 2016
A new artwork by Banksy, depicting the girl from Les Misérables affected by tear gas, opposite the French embassy in Knightsbridge, London (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

New artwork by Banksy criticising the use of teargas in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais has appeared on a wall opposite the French Embassy in London.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Young man tweeting on mobile phone

A survey analysed tweets from across the capital between December 15 and January 14

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Junior doctors will be on strike today

Next week’s junior doctors strike has been cancelled as progress is made in negotiations.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
February 2015... three Bethnal Green girls at Gatwick heading for Syria

A new website giving parents and teachers advice on protecting children from extremism is being launched at Bethnal Green Academy in east London - where three pupils are thought to have fled to Syria.

Monday, January 11, 2016
Seven months pregnant Tulip Siddiq was allegedly told she was

Heavily pregnant Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq was admonished for breaking Parliamentary procedure by leaving a debate to eat, it has been claimed.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport