• California highway workers face 'buckets of human feces, ' needles as D

    From Sara Jacobs Is A Communist Prostitu@21:1/5 to All on Sat May 19 10:52:24 2018
    XPost: la.general, alt.fashion, talk.politics.misc
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    As California's homeless population skyrockets, the cost of
    cleaning up the state's numerous shanty towns is also hitting
    record highs -- and the price tag is likely to keep rising as
    workers tasked with tossing the vagrants' syringes, feces and
    buckets of urine fight for safer conditions.

    The Golden State's homeless population of more than 130,000
    people is now about 25 percent of the nationwide total, and
    cleaning up after the surging group is getting costly -- topping
    $10 million in 2016-17. But the human cost is getting equally
    untenable, a workers' advocate says.

    In an official grievance filed last week, the union representing
    California's maintenance workers accused the state of subjecting
    its members to hazardous conditions without proper training or

    "It is the Union's contention that Caltrans is not ensuring that
    our members are being provided the appropriate Personal
    Protective Equipment (PPE), necessary training, necessary
    vaccinations and proper compensation for the dangerous hazmat
    duties they are performing when cleaning up homeless encampments
    on State Caltrans property," International Union of Operating
    Engineers director Steve Crouch said in the complaint.

    Crouch told KTVU on Monday that maintenance crews often have to
    work in areas where the ground is muddy, slippery and ridden
    with debris that can include objects that are exceedingly sharp.
    Other items are simply dangerous to touch, such as potentially
    toxic or biologically unsafe materials.

    "Feces and urine and feminine products and all kinds of things
    on the ground; needles, syringes, you know they use buckets,
    five-gallon buckets for toilets and it gets really disgusting,"
    he said.

    Besides the prospect of touching dangerous material, workers are
    also confronted with the open hostility from the "residents" of
    the encampments they are trying to clear.

    "Sometime they have pit bulls in there. They'll, you know, let
    the dogs loose to chase the Caltrans workers out," Crouch said.
    "Sometimes they'll throw rocks at the Caltrans workers."

    In an interview with the Sacramento Bee, one Caltrans worker who
    asked not to be named due to fear of retribution said he's been
    involved in six cleanups so far this year but only been given a
    pair of gloves as protection.

    “I’ve been exposed to blood, needles, women’s feminine products…
    five-gallon buckets of human feces,” he told The Bee.

    "I’ve been exposed to blood, needles, women’s feminine products…
    five-gallon buckets of human feces."

    - Caltrans maintenance worker
    The department told KTVU in a statement that, "Safety is a top
    priority for Caltrans and we will carefully review the

    The surge of homelessness in the Golden State is also costing
    the state tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. Caltrans said in
    its Mile Marker magazine the department has spent about $29.2
    million in cleaning up encampments since fiscal year 2012-13.

    In the past year alone, Caltrans estimated the cleanup costs in
    2016-17 topped $10 million, a 34 percent increase over the
    previous year across all 12 regional districts. Maintenance
    crews encountered about 7,000 homeless camps on rights of way of
    the state's 254 highways.

    California's homeless population ticked up by 13.7 percent to
    134,278 people in the past year, about 25 percent of the
    national total, according to a U.S Department of Housing and
    Urban Development report.

    "Homelessness is a problem throughout the country, but is more
    visible in California where HUD reported 68.2 percent of the
    homeless population lives in unsheltered locations such as
    streets and parks," Caltrans said in its report. "That is the
    highest percentage in the country."

    A typical camp cleanup takes days to complete, according to the
    agency, with a notification first posted at the site at least 72
    hours before crews arrive.

    Crouch said Monday he hopes his grievance causes the department
    to focus on keeping the transportation system moving.

    "Their job is to maintain the highways and freeways, you know,
    that's filling the potholes, that's doing the striping of the
    lines, that's doing the guardrails alone the edge, that's
    trimming the trees and shrubs and bushes along the highway," he
    said. "Their job is not to clean up homeless encampments."

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/01/california-highway-workers- face-buckets-human-feces-needles-as-homeless-crisis-worsens.html

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