Blood, syringes, feces: Caltrans workers seek protections for clearing homeless camps

Caltrans workers walk along a fence that has been cut by homeless people. The state agency this week is in the processing of removing homeless encampments along highways in the Fresno-Clovis area. JIM GUY JGUY@FRESNOBEE.COM

Under a freeway overpass, beneath a busy bridge, the ragged tents and shopping carts multiply, communities of human beings glimpsed in the rear-view mirrors of passing motorists.

The job often falls to the California Department of Transportation to clean up these homeless encampments, but highway workers have now drawn their own line in the sand.

Last week, the union representing Caltrans maintenance workers filed a grievance against the department, contending that employees responsible for the massive cleanups are not being adequately protected.

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