"They are mostly scared, reluctant of coming out, because they say they work in an environment of fear and intimidation," he said. "But we have been in contact with them and some of them are supportive of our efforts to help them unionize."
Amador said Tracerton pays its workers minimum wage, which is $6.75 an hour in California, and gives them no health benefits. He added that the union's dispute is not with the owners of the buildings or the companies that lease office space there, which include Cigna Healthcare, International House of Pancakes, Pacific Western Bank and Old Republic Title Co.
"Our dispute is with Tracerton," he said.
Shawn Gilmore, a representative for Tracerton, was unable to be reached for comment.
Among the janitors protesting Friday was Mayra Lopez, a union member who cleans offices across the street at 505 N. Brand Blvd. She said she is friends with some of the workers in the disputed buildings, and that she felt she needed to speak for them because they are afraid to lose their jobs if they are seen supporting the union.
"It is important to support my colleagues in these buildings," said Lopez, of Los Angeles, who has cleaned offices for 15 years. "Through the union we get good health benefits, we get paid $9.53 an hour and in May it will go up by 82 cents."
She added that she didn't know of any of her friends employed by Tracerton who had received raises, even those who have been with the company for years.
"They get paid the minimum," Lopez said.
"They have children, families and no benefits, so when they get sick they have to take them to clinics and pay out of their meager paychecks. That is why they want to join the union, for job security, and for their health.
It was the second such protest in a week in Glendale. On Wednesday, union organizers and employees of the Hilton Glendale gathered in front of the hotel to kick off a boycott meant to force Hilton management to sign a card-check agreement.
A card-check neutrality agreement allows unions to poll workers as to whether they want to unionize through the use of special survey cards the workers fill out, without the involvement of the employer.
Without a card-check agreement, management can hold meetings to talk to its workers about unionization, and the election process is conducted through a secret ballot under the direction of the National Labor Relations Board.
Service Employees International Union is also requesting that Tracerton sign a card-check agreement for the janitors of its Brand Boulevard office towers.