WORKERS at a lap-dancing club will be able to opt for trade union representation in what is believed to be a Scottish first.

The GMB union has signed a recognition agreement with the owners of Glasgow venue Seventh Heaven, meaning dancers and other staff will be able to bargain collectively over their terms and conditions.

The GMB says the agreement formalises the presence of a recognised trade union within the industry for the first time in Scotland. It will cover all aspects of the employment contract, including annual pay negotiations, disciplinary and grievance procedures and health and safety at work.

The union says it is an important milestone in its organising efforts of workers across Glasgow’s lap-dancing bars and wider adult entertainment sector, and comes at a time when Glasgow City Council has launched a public consultation over the future licensing regulations of lap-dancing venues that could result in them being banned.

GMB Scotland organiser Rhea Wolfson said: “Workers should always have a voice over decisions that affect their livelihoods; dancers and staff in our lap-dancing venues should be no different. This is bread and butter trade unionism and if people look beyond the intrigue they’ll see this agreement gives our members a framework to collectively bargain over their terms and conditions of employment – the same is it would in any other workplace.

“It is also important as we head into a consultation period concerning the licensing of Glasgow’s lap-dancing venues that workers in the sector have a banner under which they can organise with confidence and make their voices heard over the future of their livelihoods.”