NYC snow cleanup crews accused of sabotaging effort to protest budget cuts

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, December 31, 2010 14:37 EDT
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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is investigating whether the real problem during this week’s blizzard wasn’t snow, but sabotage by the crews meant to be cleaning it up.

With the Big Apple still reeling from officially the sixth biggest snow storm in its history, City Council member Dan Halloran says sanitation workers told him their department deliberately worked slowly in revenge for budget cuts.

In his bombshell revelations, Halloran told CNN on Friday that three municipal workers told him after Monday’s blizzard that supervisors instructed them to take it easy in the midst of the crisis.

“‘Don’t worry if you miss a couple of streets,’” they said they were told. “‘The city doesn’t care about us, so don’t worry about them.’”

Two other workers, assigned to clear secondary streets, say they were sent to their start points and told to wait for instructions which never came. “They told them, ‘We’ll get back to you,’” Halloran said. “Six or eight hours later they didn’t.”

Halloran said deliberate sabotage could help explain why the city was paralyzed for two days, when the previous big storm had been cleaned up in 24 hours.

Bloomberg, who took an unusual amount of flack over the city’s response, said Thursday he was looking into the rumors.

“I don’t think it took place, but we’re going to do an investigation to make sure that it didn’t. It would be an outrage if it took place,” he said.

Halloran said the culprits were likely individual supervisors with a grudge. “I think you had 100 workers or supervisors who were about to be demoted… (and) wanted to send a message to the mayor.”

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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