Dancers in America’s Strip Club Capital Refuse to Return to Work, Launching a Months-Long Strike

Portland, Oregon, often known as America’s Strip Club Capital, is facing trouble as dancers from the Magic Tavern, a prominent strip club, have been on strike for nearly four months. Their primary goal is to become the second unionized strip club in the country.

The strike, which began on April 4, involves most of the 33 strippers employed at Magic Tavern. They are protesting against what they claim are “dangerous working conditions,” as reported by Willamette Week.

The catalyst for the strike was a series of safety concerns raised by the dancers. Among them were the lack of security cameras, an unstable pole, unmarked and uneven stage flooring, and even the scent of gas. Additionally, they accused the management of retaliating against those who complained, and alleged that an official club group chat was named “Anus Tarts.”

One of the striking dancers, Nyx, highlighted the importance of their fight, saying, “We’re fighting for basic safety and respect in the workplace, just like any other industry expects.”

Despite the strike, Magic Tavern continues to operate with non-striking dancers performing on stage.

Portland has been widely recognized as the city with the most strip clubs per capita, boasting 54 venues in 2015, according to research by Pricenomics. Although Houston had a higher overall strip club count, it had a much larger population compared to Portland.

In June, the striking dancers announced their unionization with the Actors’ Equity Union, which represents over 51,000 actors and stage managers in the live theater industry. If successful, Magic Tavern will become the second unionized strip club in the country, following the path of the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar in North Hollywood, California.

The Star Garden dancers had won their union bid in May after a 15-month battle with management. They sought safer workplace conditions, health insurance, and higher compensation.

The situation remains tense in America’s Strip Club Capital as the dancers continue their strike, determined to improve their working conditions and gain the respect they deserve. Magic Tavern’s owner has yet to respond to requests for comment.

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