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December 30, 2010

New York Unions Just Might Have Staged a Deliberate Slow-Down In Snow-Clearing To Send a Message

And that message? We need you to fire us as soon as possible and start with a new batch of fresh, cheaper employees who understand how they got their jobs in the first place (that is, by the last batch being fired wholesale).

The country's more in the mood to take on public-employee unions than it has been since, who knows, Calvin Coolidge, and this is what they pull? Not smart. There are tens of thousands of unemployed people who'd love to have these jobs.

Time for a bloodletting? Oh definitely. But I always think that.

Why the NY Post is calling the whistleblowers "snitches" is beyond me. But it's always been a sort of blue-collar paper. I guess they feel they're supposed to call anyone who calls out union misbehavior a "snitch."

These garbage men really stink.

Selfish Sanitation Department bosses from the snow-slammed outer boroughs ordered their drivers to snarl the blizzard cleanup to protest budget cuts -- a disastrous move that turned streets into a minefield for emergency-services vehicles, The Post has learned.

Miles of roads stretching from as north as Whitestone, Queens, to the south shore of Staten Island still remained treacherously unplowed last night because of the shameless job action, several sources and a city lawmaker said, which was over a raft of demotions, attrition and budget cuts.

"They sent a message to the rest of the city that these particular labor issues are more important," said City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who was visited yesterday by a group of guilt-ridden sanitation workers who confessed the shameless plot.

Halloran said he met with three plow workers from the Sanitation Department -- and two Department of Transportation supervisors who were on loan -- at his office after he was flooded with irate calls from constituents.

The snitches "didn't want to be identified because they were afraid of retaliation," Halloran said. "They were told [by supervisors] to take off routes [and] not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay for the layoffs, the reductions in rank for the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank-and-file."

New York's Strongest used a 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.

From Ed Morrissey, who says he's skeptical because it's a Councilman (Republican) claiming he was told this; the story does aid him, since he's being blamed by constituents for the mess, and public union employees are always a nice scapegoat for Team Red.

But... I believe it. Sounds good to me!

More: Hm, not sure why Ed is skeptical. Reading on, I see the NYPost has verified the story, mostly, from independent sources in the sanitation department:

But multiple 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.

Commenters note that a newborn baby died due to a late ambulance, slowed by the snow.


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posted by Ace at 12:29 PM

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