Bay Area employees of Good Vibrations, aka Good Vibes, the long-standing feminist adult entertainment chain founded in San Francisco, started the process to unionize this week.
The employees filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board on Friday, aiming to join the local chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW Local 5), per SFGATE.
If management doesn’t recognize the labor union immediately, the next step is a vote to officially certify a union, which typically takes place about 6 to 8 weeks after filing. Afterwards, contract negotiations would begin. About 40 employees from eight Good Vibrations stores in Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, Palo Alto, and Santa Cruz are participating, according to the SF Standard.
As a spokesperson from UFCW Local 5 told SFGATE, the workers are asking for better wages, more job security, and improved health and safety measures. They said that the pandemic exacerbated these issues.
Good Vibes was originally founded by feminist sex therapist Joani Blank (who, fun fact, also invented the Butterfly vibrator). It then transitioned to a worker-owned business in the 1990s before ending up getting bought out by electronic retailer conglomerate Barnaby Ltd in the mid-aughts. Barnaby also owns another sex shop chain, Babeland, where workers reportedly unionized in 2016 with a NY-based chapter of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
According to UCFW, it is the largest private sector union in the United States, and UFCW Local 5 represents workers at regional grocery, retail, and cannabis stores. As the organizing committee said in a press release, ""We are so excited to provide even better service and sex education as a unionized workforce, and hope to be an example for others in the adult industry looking to organize in the future."
Feature image of Good Vibrations Oakland via Google Street View.