400 jobs are at risk of closure because of the council’s plan to adopt a ‘nil policy’ on clubs that would put an end to the renewal of licenses

GMB members will demonstrate at Hackney Town Hall on Friday 10th December over Hackney Council proposal of a ‘nil’ policy for strip venues and sex shops as they believe they no longer fit in with the character of the borough’s town centres and neighbourhoods which will cost 400 jobs.

The details of the demonstration are as follows

10.30am Friday 10th December 2010

Hackney Town Hall,

Mare Street,

London, E8 1EA

There are 4 strip venues and one sex shop in Hackney, most of these premises have been in business for over 30 years, and licensed by Hackney under the Sex Encounter Premises Act for over ten years. Hackney have already been licensing these businesses under strict rules and regulations for years. The consultation for this policy is closing on Monday 13th December and the protest to show opposition of GMB to this.

Hackney are concerned about the poverty and high unemployment levels in the Borough, yet by implementing this ‘nil’ policy, they will be putting approximately 400 local people out of work

Thierry Schaffauser, president of the GMB sex workers and adult entertainment branch said: ” GMB adult entertainment branch is supporting its members working in Hackney adult venues. 400 jobs are at risk of closure because of the council’s plan to adopt a ‘nil policy’ that would put an end to the renewal of licenses.

We are worried that the workers will be pushed to work in unlicensed venues or for private parties where they are more likely to be pressured to perform sexual acts they don’t necessary want to do and where safety, exploitation and working conditions are much worse. Nudity has nothing degrading. What is degrading is bad working conditions and that’s what the nil policy will create in Hackney.

Traditional East End strip pubs are well run and already subject to strict license and this is an sexist proposal. There is a huge hypocrisy of the female run, owned and staffed venues being targeted but the gay sex encounters venues in Shoreditch being exempt and unaffected by the ‘nil’ policy. So this makes the proposed policy nothing to do with morality or cleaning up the area and everything to do with attacking a woman’s choice of work and means of earning money.

This is a very independent and creative business, unlike the larger; well know ‘chain strip clubs’. To destroy this would be to ruin one of the great characteristics of Shoreditch that has directly fed into the music, arts, and performance scene in the area. We are pro-freedom and anti-censorship.

Adults chose to work in these pubs and chose to go to these pubs, nothing illegal is happening. Strippers are not victims and owners are not all wicked old men. All adults should be free to choose their employment and entertainment. ”


Contact: Anna Meyer 07974 251808, Suzanna Slack, 07757 469 533 or GMB Press Office Steve Pryle on 07921 289880 or Rose Conroy on 07974 251823.

Notes to Editors

For full details of the Hackney policy and consultation please go to

For more information please go to facebook group

The workforce have set up an alliance of dancers, ex dancers, managers, owners, DJs, security, customers, Burlesque performers, sex workers, representatives from the LGBT community, representatives from Equity and GMB and the Vicar of Shoreditch. Not everyone involved in this campaign will be immediately affected by the ‘nil’ policy but all are standing by the dancers and owners. This is because we believe this a first step and if it passes many more councils will try it and may more of our freedoms will be lost.

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