Los Angeles day laborers allege discrimination and threats at some Home Depots

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Day laborers are speaking out against a security company operating in several of The Home Depot's parking lots in Los Angeles.

The workers are accusing the guards of discriminating against them, threatening them with calling immigration authorities and in one instance, using violence.

"We all deserve an opportunity," said Leonso Martinez, a day laborer at a news conference held by the group Tuesday. Martinez said he begins at 4 a.m. and on a good week, he'll find three days of work for about $120 a day.

The city of Los Angeles requires Home Depot parking lots designate a site for day laborers in its parking lots. The sites are funded by the city and operated by nonprofit organizations. Some of those organizations are asking The Home Depot to end its contract with Point 2 Point Global Security.

"We respect the right of Home Depot to secure their premises but this has clearly crossed the line," said IDEPSCA's Maegan Oritz. "It is important that we send a message and we stand up against these changes and attacks against workers when workers are only here to do one thing which is to look for work," added Flor Rodriguez with the Los Angeles Worker Center Network.

A spokesman for Point 2 Point Global Security told Eyewitness News: "We take the allegations very seriously and such behavior is not something we would tolerate. We thoroughly investigate all complaints and claims. Our responsibility is to provide a safe environment for customers and staff of The Home Depot, while also operating in an environment of honesty, integrity, openness and mutual respect for the surrounding community."

The Home Depot also put out a statement and said, "If this behavior occurred, it is nothing we would ever condone. We've discussed the matter with the community organizations and our third party security vendor, and we'll continue to have an open dialogue with them."

Opponents of the security company said the guards are at five Los Angeles Home Depot locations where more than 1,000 day laborers show up for work every day.
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