Day laborers protest U-haul and police crackdown


Every day, on my bike ride to work, I see the day laborers lined up along Alameda Street across from the U-haul office, hoping to get work. It’s a great little community, full of friendly people (mostly Latino men, but sometimes a couple young African-Americans as well), and they wave, smile, and try to get me to jingle my bell or honk my horn at them as I pass, which I always oblige.

But a couple months ago, the scene changed. Police officers now show up more often to hassle the day laborers, often demanding they clear the street. So they linger on adjacent streets, still trying to make themselves available for work, but clearly intimidated and wary of getting busted.

Well today, the workers pushed back, with the help of La Raza Centro Legal’s Day Laborer Program and nearly 100 supporters, who came to chant and protest a new U-Haul manager who they say constantly harasses them and calls the police three times a day. That manager, who was chatting with two cops at the scene, refused to identify himself or speak with me, referring me to their corporate flak (who hasn’t returned my call).

Anecdotally, we’ve heard that day laborers around the city have been rousted by police far more often in recent months, just one more of the SFPD crackdowns under new Police Chief George Gascon, which include raids on pot growers in the Sunset, mass arrests in the Tenderloin, regular raids of underground parties in SoMa, and lots more citations for drinking in Dolores Park and other parks.


Update from the writer: U-Haul has responded to my request for information with the following prepared statement: The Bryant Street U-Haul Center has received numerous concerns and complaints from our customers regarding aggressive practices being used by day laborers to solicit work. Unfortunately, some day laborers would fight with one another on our property to get a customer’s attention, which caused our customers to feel intimidated and to become concerned about their personal safety.In addition, some of the laborers often left trash on our property and neighboring location.
In response to our concerns, the manager took steps to work with all of the day laborers that would be mutually beneficial to them and our customers. The manager understood that day laborers can provide a valued service to some customer’s who would like moving assistance. He tried to make arrangements with the day laborers to coordinate their services with the needs of customers. Most of the day laborers who show up daily at this location were satisfied with this arrangement. Regrettably, there were a few laborers who were not happy with the program and continued to harass our customers and the employees at this location. The protestors who showed up today are part of this small segment of individuals who did not want to cooperate with the U-Haul customers.
The Bryant Street U-Haul Center is transitioning to a program that will further coordinate the needs of the customer with load/unload services from laborers. It is hoped that this program will satisfactorily assist all involved.

Posted by steven on Feb. 12, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

I've used this exact Uhaul location 3-4 times, and can attest to the feeling of uncertainty of the day laborers behavior. It can be really sketchy, and even just pulling up to location, you begin to see 3-8 people walking towards you as you just start to parallel park. It looks like a bum rush on you. Then, when you politely tell them you're fine without their service, but thank you, they persist and even begin to fight with one another. Sometimes it's just a few mumbled words and they walk away, other times they get in each others faces and begin to yell, just shy of things coming to blows. Now you're inside, left wondering if they're gonna take it out on your car ...

Posted by Guest Uhaul Customer on Feb. 16, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

I hate U-Haul! Not only do you get hassled by these people but you get a truck that breaks down! Picture your moving day with a truck full of Mexicans broke down on the side of the road

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

I hired a couple of these guys. I was trying to save a couple of bucks. I was paying them $15 ea an hr. I caught one of them stealing some of my stuff. I would never use these people again. Where can I find decent legal help for a day?

Posted by GuestTony on Dec. 18, 2010 @ 9:43 am

All of the hispanic day laborers are ILLEGAL ALIENS and most likely have comitted multiple crimes in this country or their home country. Many are gang memebers or work for them and will steal your belongings or tell their gang members where you live and then come and rob you.

Two years ago, two ILLEGAL ALIEN day laborers did a home invasion in South City and robbed, raped and beat a 73 year old woman and then robbed and beat a 80 year old man almost to death then stole his truck. They were found in the Mission because they drove the stolen truck to their hideout where the police had no trouble finding them.
This happens ALL THE TIME but because la raza and the other terrrorist groups in SF control all of the newspapers, no one ever hears about it.
All ILLEGAL ALIENS are thieves, liers, murderers, rapists, and child molesters. Do you really want one of them in your home or know where you live?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 19, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

Crimes are commited EVERYWHERE by EVERYONE. A lot of Americans go to other countries and break laws over there, why aren't you mad about that?

I am Mexican. Legally, in case you want to know. For the most part, I don't agree with people waiting on the street and then bum rushing people who want to rent a truck. I feel the same unease that everyone does. BUT not because they are illegal, but because they are strangers to me, that is all. Being another race does not make you any more a criminal than someone from the USA.

If you look at most of the U.S.A. criminals, they are WHITE people. They do very attrocious things to people. They are the severely demented ones. For example, The Unibomber, Charles Manson, John Wayne Gasey, Ted Bundy, Ed Gaines - ALL WHITE MALES; and there are ton more who are all white.

Home robberies are made by tons of people, not just people who are not white. La raza does not own all newspaper, they just report on what they do. Why don't you do the same and see how you're statistics change, you Ignorant Fool.

Try learning more about your world before you accuse a whole race because a few bad apples. According to your rules, I should be afraid of white people because they will murder everyone, rape and kill young boys (Ted Bundy), and basically, why the world is completely wrong (because of white people). But I don't think that way. I'm not ignorant. Yes, there are bad people out there, but it does NOT make the whole race the same.

Lastly, illegal immagrants are not just Mexicans. They include EVERYONE in the world, Asian countries, European contries, from Africa, from Australia, from EVERYWHERE. Get that through your thick skull and hopefully your pea-sized brain will not burst.

Posted by Guest Gualte on Dec. 20, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

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