New York sanitation workers union sabotaged snow cleanup 

In retaliation for budget cuts, sanitation workers deliberately slowed the snow cleanup efforts, raising their plows over snow-filled streets and skipping streets on their routes, according to three sanitation workers and two supervisors who visited City Councilman Dan Hollaran, R-Queens. The New York Post reported that the workers revealed the "variety of tactics to drag out the plowing process -- and pad overtime checks -- which included keeping plows slightly higher than the roadways and skipping over streets along their routes, the sources said":

The snow-removal snitches said they were told to keep their plows off most streets and to wait for orders before attacking the accumulating piles of snow.

They said crews normally would have been more aggressive in com bating a fierce, fast-moving blizzard like the one that barreled in on Sunday and blew out the next morning.

What could possibly motivate such a craven move on the part of supervisers, one that stymied emergency responders who couldn't reach those in need?

The workers said the work slowdown was the result of growing hostility between the mayor and the workers responsible for clearing the snow.

In the last two years, the agency's workforce has been slashed by 400 trash haulers and supervisors -- down from 6,300 -- because of the city's budget crisis. And, effective tomorrow, 100 department supervisors are to be demoted and their salaries slashed as an added cost-saving move.

The Post tells a different story than the one laid out implicating budget cuts as the reason this cleanup has gone so badly, one in which union thugs use intimidation and retaliatory tactics to fill their wallets and negotiate. These are the people Democrats trust to employ "card check" in a free and fair way.

I reported yesterday how well compensated these people are:

...[T]he top salary of $66,672 is only the tip of the iceberg for active sanitation worker compensation because it excludes other things like overtime and extra pay for certain assignments. For example, one worker in 2009 had a salary of $55,639 but actually earned $79,937 for the year.

Sanitation workers don't pay a dime for premiums on their cadillac health care plan, which includes prescription drug coverage along with dental and eye care for the whole family. Many continue to receive the full benefit upon retiring after only 10 years. And then there's the matter of their pension:
...Nearly 180 retired [sanitation workers] make over $66,000 year -- in other words, over and above the maximum salary of currently working employees. In fact, 20 retirees make upwards of $90,000 in retirement, up to $132,360.

Keep that in mind when reading lines like this:

...[M]ultiple Sanitation Department sources told The Post yesterday that angry plow drivers have only been clearing streets assigned to them even if that means they have to drive through snowed-in roads with their plows raised.

And they are keeping their plow blades unusually high, making it necessary for them to have to run extra passes, adding time and extra pay.

One mechanic said some drivers are purposely smashing plows and salt spreaders to further stall the cleanup effort.

Sure, Mayor Bloomberg planned poorly and should have announced a snow emergency. But this story makes it clear that even if he did, it would have made a difference. The question is whether Bloomberg will do anything about it.

 

About The Author

J.P. Freire

Bio:
J.P. Freire is the associate editor of commentary. Previously he was the managing editor of the American Spectator. Freire was named journalist of the year for 2009 by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). You can follow him on Twitter here. Besides the Spectator, Freire's work has appeared in... more
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