Not from The Onion. Home Depot, Others Required To Make Day Laborer Shelters LOS ANGELES -- Big-box, home-improvement stores in Los Angeles will have to set aside space for day laborers under an ordinance passed by the City Council on Wednesday. When the ordinance takes effect -- the mayor has to sign it, and most city laws take effect 30 days afterward -- it will apply to stores such as The Home Depot that have 100,000 square feet or more, or any structure where 250,000 square feet or more of warehouse floor area is added. The shelters must be easily accessible and include drinking water, bathrooms, tables, seating and trashcans. The stores may be required to work with Los Angeles police in developing a security plan, according to the unanimous vote by the 15-member lawmaking body. People who live near Home Depot stores have complained of day laborers drinking beer, urinating in yards or other unseemly behavior. The National Day Laborer Organizing Network, a nonprofit group started in Northridge in 2001, supports the new requirements. "It provides for safe and dignified hiring locations where contingent workers can defend their basic rights. It carefully balances the interests of business, residents, day laborers and their employers," said the group's executive director, Pablo Alvarado. Francisco Uribe, senior manager of government relations for The Home Depot, said the corporation does not oppose the day laborer centers. "Although the complex challenges associated with the presence of day laborers are not specific to one industry nor one company, The Home Depot recognizes that some of our stores in the city of Los Angeles are impacted," Uribe said. "The Home Depot has and will continue to work with the city of Los Angeles and other key stakeholders in the various communities where The Home Depot operates to jointly address these challenges," Uribe said. City Councilman Richard Alarcon singled out The Home Depot for attracting day laborers, saying other big-box stores do not have the same kind of problems. "Lowe's doesn't have the problem. And you ask yourself 'why don't we see massive (numbers of) day laborers at Lowe's?' The reason is they target women. It's very clear that their marketing scheme is more focused on interior design-type customers," Alarcon said. The Community Development Department already operates 11 day-laborer sites in the city. Grant funding is used to maintain the facilities at an annual cost of $180,000. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Via the Ace-o-Spades Blog: "Coming soon: Parking lot operators must provide condoms, spermicide, and an on-call gynecologist for the hookers that walk the streets within one blocks of their lots."