Originally created 02/03/03

Unionized strippers ratify contract with San Francisco club



SAN FRANCISCO -- Workers at the nation's only unionized strip club ratified a new contract that restores a pay cut made almost two years ago and improves some benefits.

The two-year contract with the Lusty Lady gradually raises the strippers' pay by $3 per hour, according to the union. The contract ratified Jan. 17 also increases sick pay to 1 1/2 days.

"We were pretty successful," said Natasha, a union negotiator and Lusty Lady employee who uses just one name.

Strippers last month took to the street outside the club in San Francisco's touristy North Beach neighborhood to protest management's refusal to bring strippers' pay back to a top scale of $27 an hour.

The agreement adds $2 per shift in the first year and $4 per shift in the second year for dancers' prep time to do their hair and makeup. It also lowers a hiring cap, to ensure there are enough shifts to go around.

"There's too many people for the number of shifts, so people weren't getting the number of shifts they were asking for," Natasha said.

The strippers belong to the Exotic Dancers Union, a chapter of the Service Employees International Union, Local 790.

Club manager Darrell Davis declined comment.