Newcastle Strip Clubs Under Scrutiny for Alleged Unhealthy Conditions

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Concerns have been raised about the sanitary conditions at two prominent Newcastle strip clubs, For Your Eyes Only and Blue Velvet, operated by Maymask 202 Ltd. According to a union representing food and allied workers, the environments at these clubs are allegedly “dirty and unhealthy,” resulting in serious health issues for dancers, including insect bites and significant flesh-eroding conditions.

The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) has expressed its worries in a detailed letter to Newcastle city councillors. The letter highlighted reports of dampness and leaking sewage at the clubs, stating that these conditions have caused some dancers to seek hospital treatment due to insect bites. The union emphasised its intent to improve working conditions rather than shut down the clubs, urging the city council to review and update licensing regulations for sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) to better protect workers.

Union’s Allegations and Supporting Evidence

The union’s letter alleged severe hygiene issues at the clubs, including damp areas where dancers spend time off the floor, exacerbated by sewage and other liquids leaking through ceilings and walls. The letter also reported that several workers developed serious flesh-eroding conditions due to the lack of cleanliness. Despite these claims, the company disputes the allegations, stating that all health and safety concerns have been addressed.

An anonymous staff member supported the union’s claims, describing the working conditions as dire. The worker revealed they had visited A&E due to insect bites and noted that many colleagues faced similar issues. They emphasised the financial necessity driving workers to remain in these jobs despite the health risks, with some relying solely on income from the clubs.

Company’s Response

Maymask 202 Ltd, part of a larger portfolio of leisure, property, and care home businesses, refuted the union’s assertions. A company spokesperson expressed disappointment over the union’s approach, suggesting that the union aimed to damage the business. The spokesperson reiterated the company’s stance against recognising union representation and highlighted ongoing mediation efforts with dancers to resolve internal disputes.

The company acknowledged water ingress issues at the basement-level For Your Eyes Only club but claimed no responsibility, attributing the problem to external factors. They stated they were working with neighbouring businesses and property management to address the situation promptly. The spokesperson affirmed that health and safety concerns had been addressed and would continue to be monitored diligently.

Council’s Position and Planned Actions

Newcastle City Council has pledged to investigate the allegations thoroughly. A council spokesperson described the claims as “very serious” and confirmed plans to accelerate scheduled inspections of both clubs. The last inspections of For Your Eyes Only and Blue Velvet occurred in January and August 2022, respectively, with their SEV licences set to expire in March 2025.

The council emphasised its commitment to ensuring safe working conditions in all licensed premises, including SEVs. They stated that, despite not receiving prior complaints about these clubs, the allegations warranted immediate action. The council aims to uphold the principles of campaigns advocating for improved staff conditions in licensed venues.

Future Developments

The situation at Newcastle’s For Your Eyes Only and Blue Velvet clubs highlights broader concerns about working conditions in the sexual entertainment industry. The council’s investigation and potential regulatory revisions could set a precedent for enhanced worker protections in the sector. Meanwhile, the ongoing dispute between the union and Maymask 202 Ltd underscores the complexities of addressing labour issues within self-employment frameworks commonly seen in the industry.

As Newcastle City Council proceeds with its investigation, the focus will be on ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all workers. The outcome may prompt other councils to reassess their regulatory approaches to SEVs, balancing the need for business operations with the imperative to protect vulnerable workers.

In conclusion, the allegations against Newcastle’s strip clubs raise critical questions about worker safety and regulatory oversight in the sexual entertainment industry. The council’s investigation and subsequent actions will be closely watched as stakeholders seek to address and resolve these pressing concerns.

Danielle Trigg
Danielle Trigg
Journalist Danielle is a skilled journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With her wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge, Danielle dives into the stories that matter to local communities. Her meticulous research and engaging writing style captivate readers, providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic business landscape. Danielle's commitment to delivering accurate and thought-provoking news sets her apart, making her an invaluable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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