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

16:44
Lutfur Rahman's tweet

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman has ordered the Palestinian flag to be flown from the Town Hall.

Read more
49 minutes ago
The super-cute miniscule monkey currently measures just three inches tall (Picture: ZSL London Zoo)

The newest arrival at ZSL London Zoo measures just three inches tall and was spotted by keepers clinging tightly onto her mum during their daily rounds.

Read more
Anyone with information is asked to contact officers on 101 (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A war memorial in south London was set on fire by vandals just days before the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Read more

TOP Stories

16:44
Lutfur Rahman's tweet

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman has ordered the Palestinian flag to be flown from the Town Hall.

49 minutes ago
The super-cute miniscule monkey currently measures just three inches tall (Picture: ZSL London Zoo)

The newest arrival at ZSL London Zoo measures just three inches tall and was spotted by keepers clinging tightly onto her mum during their daily rounds.

Anyone with information is asked to contact officers on 101 (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A war memorial in south London was set on fire by vandals just days before the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Promotions

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

London Bloggers

Thursday, July 24, 2014
London comedians are preparing for Edinburgh (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

During these sultry July afternoons and endless balmy evenings the nervous musings of young comedians in London drift to dreams of triumph on the Edinburgh stage.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Punchdrunk's The Drowned Man poduction came to an end on Sunday, July 6

If you’ve been wandering around bereft of purpose, a wet-eyed stare fixed on your blank face, then no doubt you too are as gutted as I am that The Drowned Man has finally come to an end.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
(Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

We’ve been called P.I.G.S.

Quizzes

But which London?! [Photo courtesy of Basher Eyre]

Yoou might know London like the back of your hand, but how well do you know the other Londons - and London landmarks - across the world?

Read more
The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower?

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more