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CTA Workers Complain Of Filthy Restroom Conditions

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CTA Workers Complain Of Filthy Restroom Conditions

By Vince Gerasole, WBBM-TV CBS/Ch.2 Chicago Reporter



CHICAGO, Ill. June 7, 2010 (CBS 2 Chicago) ― The pictures alone are enough to make you sick. Imagine if your restroom at work had overflowing toilets, broken sinks and no running water. CTA workers say they've been complaining about horrible conditions like these for more than a year.


When you've got to go, CTA trains can get you there, but sometimes CTA workers have to go in a more natural way -- to the restroom. A few snapped pictures of filthy, non-functioning bathrooms, so dirty we can't even show you the extremes they apparently sometimes reach.


CBS 2 asked people on the street if they would use one of the bathrooms pictured.


"No, not unless I was forced to. I'd have to be out in the woods to use that one," said one man.


"What human would? It's just disgusting," said a woman.


Workers in need of a bathroom break say it's not simply that the employee-only restrooms are dirty.


"Any normal person would look at it with shock and revulsion, but it's normal," said Bryant Alexander, vice-president of Local 308, representing CTA rail workers in the Amalgamated Transit Union.


Often they say the facilities lack the running water to even be cleaned.


When asked if the pictures are an exaggeration of restroom conditions, Alexander said, "No, it's not an exaggeration. You see what it is."


Following their complaints, Transit Union officials say the CTA issued some 24 work orders last summer for bathroom complications, including 11 stations with no running water at all, and two without fixtures. They charge only a handful have been attended to.


"It becomes mind-boggling and it becomes a health issue because I'm holding myself," said Alexander. "I can't freely go to the bathroom."


Apparently, workers who need to use the bathroom at one of the non-functioning stations have to ride the train to the next station, hoping the bathroom there is working.


"I am kind of trapped because now I'm going back and forth, trying to determine when I'm going to go, what's the right time for me to go," said Alexander.


Union officials say they were encouraged when the CTA promised action last summer; promises they now say have gone down the drain.


For more and news clip. http://cbs2chicago.com/local/cta.restrooms.filthy.2.1737801.html

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