French strippers on strike: dancers at Crazy Horse want more pay

Dancers at Le Crazy Horse

Dancers at Parisian night club Le Crazy Horse will keep clothes on until dispute is settled

LAST UPDATED AT 08:50 ON Thu 17 May 2012

STRIPPERS at one of the leading cabaret clubs in Paris went on strike on Tuesday for the first time in history, refusing to take off their clothes in protest at what they see as poor pay for their craft.

Le Parisien reports that the industrial action continued last night at Le Crazy Horse on Avenue Georges V, as the women fight for better wages. "For years we have been asking for more pay and recognition of the skill involved in our live performances," dancer Suzanne Durand said. "What we are currently paid does not take into account our hard work - or our nakedness."

The strippers are now in negotiation with the club's owners, and have pledged to stay clothed during performances until the management meet their demands. Even an experienced top dancer at the world famous club, working six days a week, earns a maximum of €2,000 a month. "This is the lowest salary of any cabaret dancer in Paris," Durand claims.

Many of the dancers are upset about the way the management of the club has portrayed them simply as interchangeable sex objects with no recognition of the skill and heritage involved in their work. All of the dancers are famously chosen to look the same on stage, with the same breast size, height, hair and make-up.

"They see us simply as objects of desire," Zonnie Rogenne, 22, who has been dancing at Le Crazy Horse for three years, said. "We would like to see higher wages that reflect the reputation and nobility of this exceptional venue."

A point of contention with the dancers is that there is nothing in their current contracts that takes into account their nudity. The women from Le Crazy Horse do not want to be treated "like the rest of the dancers in Paris".

"We strip naked every night," one of the dancers said. "With what we get paid at the moment what is the difference between us and a peep show? What we do is not vulgar and yet we are paid as if it were."

Le Crazy Horse was opened in 1951 by Alian Bernadin, who committed suicide in 1994. Recently, acts like Dita Von Teese and Carmen Electra have performed there. Until the dispute is settled, the feathers and sequins will stay firmly in place every night. · 

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