Day-worker center expanding

first_img “He is the one who says what work you’re going to do … and how much they’ll pay you by the hour,” Gonzalez said in Spanish. But a 27-year-old day laborer at the center, who declined to be identified, said he would rather not solicit work himself. Unlike most of the other day laborers at the center and across the street, who tend to be Latino, the worker came from Japan five years ago. “If I stand out there I have to ask myself, but here you just wait and it’s more organized,” he said. City Councilman Bob Yousefian voted against expanding the center, which he said was poorly located when it was placed across the street from Home Depot. “It should have been in Home Depot, just like the one in Burbank is,” he said. Alex Dobuzinskis, (818) 546-3304 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! GLENDALE – The City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to spend $100,000 to expand a center for day laborers across the street from Home Depot, which will accommodate the increased number of people using the center since it opened in 1997. Workers gather at the city’s mostly open-air center, run by Catholic Charities, to watch television, use the facility’s portable restrooms and sit on benches and plastic seats as they wait for employers to offer them jobs. It serves 125 workers a day, up from 80 when it first opened, officials said. Burbank’s decision last year to require Home Depot to include a day-laborer center in the parking lot of a store being built in that city drew the ire of immigration-control advocates, who said such centers cater to illegal immigrants. Glendale officials said their center is essential for laborers. “These people have families, they’ve got to find a way (to work) and they’re finding it the best way they can,” said City Councilman Dave Weaver. “That center gives them a location.” The $100,000 will allow for the expansion of the nearly 6,800 square-foot center by 2,160 square feet. It is located across the street from the Home Depot at 5040 San Fernando Road. Meanwhile, Glendale is awaiting a judgment from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the constitutionality of its ordinance requiring day laborers to stay on the sidewalk and not go into the street to solicit work. Glendale appealed to the 9th Circuit after a federal court struck down the ordinance, which had been challenged by a day-laborer group represented by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Francisco Gonzalez, 30, of Los Angeles was standing with several other men across the street from the center Tuesday. Gonzalez would rather negotiate directly with employers instead of waiting at the center, which uses a lottery system to distribute work and has a Catholic Charities worker who talks to employers. last_img read more