Janitor Gerardo Mixcoatl joined members of his union Thursday to protest the working conditions and ask for more security.
#HappeningNow @SEIU members are protesting working conditions at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, where employees tell us they don’t feel safe because of the large homeless population that frequents the transportation hub. Some janitors have been attacked @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/acDQc2w8eV— Josh Haskell (@abc7JoshHaskell) May 5, 2022
"I was a witness of one of my colleagues that was beaten up with a hammer when she was cleaning the restroom," he said. "People going into the shower, they have sex, we see people do drugs."
SEIU United Service Workers West said workers don't feel safe because of the growing homeless population who frequent the train station.
"All of my colleagues are afraid to come to work," said Mixcoatl. "We don't know if we're going to make it back home, especially the janitors who work on the night shift. The reality is we have to provide for our families and this is the only way that we can do it."
A total of 235 assault and battery cases have occurred at Union Station, according to Metro.
The Los Angeles Times also reports violent crime is up 94%. Union Station is owned by Metro and the Los Angeles Police Department patrols the property, but in small numbers and not at night.
"The police is here. The police repeatedly told us they cannot do anything to help us," said Mixcoatl.
Private security at the station hasn't stopped the attacks experienced by janitors.
The union is now calling on city leaders to address their safety concerns.
"Our understanding, and through the workers' testimony, is that when the call the police, the police escort the folks off the premises and those folks come right back," said David Huerta, the president of SEIU/USWW. "This is a center point of Los Angeles, the same way that the airport is a center point of L.A. You can see plenty of secured officers at the airport. There needs to be more resources put here to ensure workers can work in safety."