Let strippers speak for themselves!
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The sex industry is under threat from changes sought by the Trade Union Organisation, United Voices of the World (UVW).
Currently all strippers/exotic dancers/hostesses in the UK work on a self employed basis. As such, we’re able to fit our work schedule around our other commitments (eg. studies, family commitments, day jobs). We can take as much time off as we please, can travel the world and work as and when we see fit. In most cases, we handle our own cash and are responsible for our own tax and national insurance contributions.
The stripping industry has enabled women; giving us the freedom and power to buy houses, start businesses, receive a university education and raise families - all because of the flexibility and vast earning potential that comes with our work as it presently stands.
All that is now set to change thanks to the work of the UVW. They think they are doing this in our best interests. They're not. They support an ideology but are blind to the commercial reality of their actions.
The UVW has backed and supported a series of court cases against UK strip clubs, seeking to change our employment status from self employed to that of a ‘worker’. As workers, they claim that dancers will benefit by receiving holiday/sick pay from the club and that we will be protected from leaving the club with less money than the National Minimum Wage (£8.21 per hour rising to £8.72 in April 2020).
However, in order to receive these and other benefits, the clubs will be required to calculate our entitlements. To do this ALL of our money, including tips, will need to be paid and recorded through the club rather than how it presently stands in many of our clubs where customers pay us direct.
Many clubs that operate simple business models, maximising profit for both dancers and club alike will have to make large changes to incorporate these new complex accounting and admin systems. A club may even need to employ more admin or payroll staff.
The UVW believes that clubs will agree to pay dancers their holiday pay from the club’s own profits. The Union believes that the huge management and accountancy expenses that will be incurred by the clubs in meeting these new obligations for holiday pay, National Minimum Wage and Pensions will also be met from the clubs’ own profits.
Is that really likely to happen? OF COURSE NOT. A club would obviously look to deduct an amount from our earnings each week so that it can be repaid to us for when we take a holiday or in the unlikely event that we don’t earn minimum wage over the course of a week.
Would the club not look to recover some, if not ALL of the additional expenses it incurs for operating the new, complex systems? OF COURSE IT WILL.
The UVW believes that with its backing, the industry will ultimately be able to abolish House Fees, commissions and any control a club has over its dancers. Where would the incentive be for any business to operate a Strip Club under any of these terms?
The HMRC’s definition of “worker” suggests that as ’workers’ we would have to come to work, even if we don’t want to, we are NOT protected from dismissal of any kind EXCEPT for trade union activity, we are not entitled to request a flexible working pattern and we are NOT allowed time off for emergencies.
All these changes have the very real potential of slashing the earnings of thousands of UK dancers, leaving us MORE vulnerable to abuse and further control from club owners.
Unfortunately, the reality for many of the small independent clubs is that they will simply be forced to close. Under the UVW’s proposals the vast amount of money required to be paid to us by the club along with the added expenses of running the new systems would not make it viable to continue.
We’re arguing that we are far better off being self employed and we decline to be represented by the Union who doesn’t appear to have any real understanding of how the industry works. They are not working in our best interests.
Many of us now seriously affected by a recent court decision supported by the Union have met with the UVW to express our concerns. Their words of encouragement and suggestions for a cheap and easy fix were unconvincing and not credible.
The Union even accepted they have may not have thought this through properly!
Please sign this Petition to demonstrate that this Union does NOT represent the majority of dancers and to support our right to continue working on the self employed basis that has worked so well for so many of us for all these years.
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