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labor First U.S. Labor Union Of Fitness Professionals Set To Form In Los Angeles

Gold's Gym's personal trainers set to become first U.S. fitness professionals to form a labor union.

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Personal trainers at Gold’s Gym’s in downtown Los Angeles say they plan to vote at the end of this month to join the United States’ first labor union of fitness industry professionals.

Calling themselves the “Fitness Alliance,” the group of 18 certified personal trainers began efforts to form a union in January to address workplace problems, which they allege include “unpaid hours of work, sexual harassment, and constant pressure from management to meet excessive sales goals at all hours of the day and night.”

The personal trainers in L.A. said despite Gold’s “thousands of dollars” in sales of training packages and products to gym-goers, the personal trainers earn just minimum wage “supplemented by an unpredictable and often confusing commission system.”

Last October, the trainers said Dallas-based Gold’s reached a $625,000 settlement with personal trainers in Texas for failing to pay them compensation they were owed.

The trainers in Los Angeles partnered with the North American labor union Workers United after learning of its Canadian affiliate’s successful unionization of 650 personal trainers of GoodLife Fitness in Toronto last July. The GoodLife Fitness trainers were seeking better pay, among other things, although about 450 fitness instructors voted against unionization, according to the Toronto Star.

“The fitness industry is rife with exploitation and abuse,” Johnny Love, a trainer at Gold’s Downtown LA said in a statement. “It’s time for us to have a voice at work.”

On March 28, personal trainers at Gold’s Gym’s L.A. plan to vote to unionize. The National Labor Relations Board will conduct the election.

Gold’s Gym downtown didn’t respond to a request for comment.