Exotic Dancers Strike At Famous Paris Cabaret

Dita Von Teese, Carmen Electra and Pamela Anderson have all graced the stage of Le Crazy Horse, a 60-year-old Parisian cabaret. Its founder maintained that striptease is an art form, but behind the nightclub's beauty and glamor, its dancers now say, conditions are dismal.

On Tuesday, 17 Le Crazy Horse dancers went on strike to demand a 15 percent increase in their "miserable" wages, reports the French newspaper Le Figaro. According to a spokeswoman for the group, identified only as Suzanne, the dancers work 24 days a month, make less than 2,000 euros (about $2,540) in that time, and do 13 rehearsals or performances a week.

A 15 percent increase, Suzanne said, would be "fair and economically feasible."

On Wednesday, the club was forced to cancel performances for the second day in a row, the first cancellations ever in the club's long history.

Exotic dancers don't often organize, in the U.S. or abroad. In 1997, a group of strippers at the Lusty Lady in San Francisco signed what is believed to be the first union contract in the nation covering workers in the world of erotic entertainment. Many of the peep-show arcade's dancers were upset by the use of one-way glass in booths, which allowed customers to record smutty videos that could be posted online. They joined Local 790 of the Service Employees International Union. The one-way glass was out and a set pay scale, break allowances, raise structure, and job security were in.

It's hard for many adult performers to organize like this, however, because clubs frequently classify them as independent contractors, rather than employees; and independent contractors don't have the same right to organize, or to benefits, and sometimes have to pay for the privilege of dancing in a club.

But lawyers are taking up the cause of exotic dancers across the country, and judges have largely been convinced that the women are illegally misclassified, and are actually employees. So far, adult entertainers have won backpay and damages in at least 10 states.

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Perhaps the next time one of these ladies applies for a job, they should inquire about the pay and the hours and make a determination if this is what they want. Oh, wait! Why do that when you can strike after the fact and cost the owner time and money. Since there is no contract (an assumption on my part) perhaps the owner should simply hire a new group of ladies.

May 17 2012 at 8:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Clark Celmayster

They would make a killing here but that is Socialism folks so just go ahead and vote again for obama because AmeriGreece is not far behind!!!!

May 17 2012 at 7:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Didn't get a chance to see the show when I was in Paris, but I did catch the one in Las Vegas. Beautiful, sexy ladies and whatever they are paid it is not nearly enough. I would be honored to walk a picket line with them.

May 17 2012 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Crazy Horse Saloon in Paris has one of the most sophisticated and classiest shows in the world. I had the pleasure of seeing a sample of the amazing show last New Year's eve on TV in Zurich as a special treat. for the season. I was mesmerized. And I a a woman!
The tickets are expensive. To put this in the same basket as peep shows, points to the level of the writer. It is time to travel young lady!

May 17 2012 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These girls deserve to be paid a decent salary! The boss doesn't know what goes into performing every night. All the work these ladies put into it....

May 17 2012 at 5:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Victoria's comment
Clark Celmayster

That is French entertainment.....

May 17 2012 at 7:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Peep Show? Well at Easter I took all my colored Peeps and had a candy on parade show. It was fun! What? Oh they don't mean those types of Peeps. Sorry, never mind.

May 17 2012 at 5:40 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

PTL Pay The Ladies.

May 17 2012 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have seen that show twice and those dancers are wonderful! They obviously put in a lot of work and I am surprised that they don't make more than that. Believe me, the cost of the drinks there alone make a fortune for the theater (casino). The dancers should be better paid.

May 17 2012 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People should pay for what they get, no matter who it goes to. The performers deserve they’re share of the gross.

May 17 2012 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
In My Opinion Only

I could build my own cabin behind the curtian and welcome all of 'em showgirls for glass of red wine.

May 17 2012 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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