America, You Asked For It!

Political News and Commentary from the Right

Did disgruntled workers cause chaos (and cost lives) in NYC?

Being from the South, where lots of things shut down whenever a little of the white stuff hits the ground, I’ve often listened to folks from the North complain about our inability to cope with a little winter weather. But this time the shoe’s on the other foot. The question is, why?

Stranded travelers and even New Yorkers on the street have been complaining non-stop since their “City-That-Never-Sleeps” was tucked snugly under an historic blanket of snow this week. Over 5,000 flights were canceled as all three New York City airports were socked in, turning thousands of people into temporary residents of the airports themselves. Trains in and out of the city, and even the always dependable subway system ground to a halt. Buses, taxis, and the city’s few POVs couldn’t move through the snow swamped streets. New Yorkers for the first time in their lives found themselves snowed in, and they didn’t like it.

Most of their anger has been directed at the city’s billionaire Mayor Bloomberg. One Brooklynite was quoted saying the mayor, “doesn’t care about the little people,” insinuating the wealthy Bloomberg channeled resources to take care of Manhattan while ignoring the outer boroughs. Bloomberg admitted Wednesday, “We did not do as good a job that we wanted to do or the city has a right to expect.”

Earlier though, the mayor was less contrite. Estimating 5,000 trucks with plows would have been necessary to keep pace with the falling snow, the mayor held press conferences and pretty much told the people his response was adequate because citizens would not want to pay for more than the 2,000 trucks his administration deployed. Though this initial response to critics sparked even more outrage, residents’ anger at the mayor might be somewhat misplaced.

In a New York Post exclusive, city Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens) claims three apologetic sanitation workers and two Department of Transportation supervisors visited him to confess the city’s inadequate response was more the result of a protest against the mayor by disgruntled city workers and supervisors. Apparently, workers were ordered by their supervisors to intentionally slow the cleanup in order to force the city to pay overtime wages.

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.

Though the Sanitation Department and union representatives deny the allegations, Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loesser said, “We would hope this is not the case.” But if it is, heads should roll.

Everyone knows of New York City’s budget woes, but these workers suffer from the Great American Entitlement Syndrome. They apparently forget that employers can only pay for workers they can afford. Instead, America’s move away from Capitalism and toward Socialism has infected them. Our entitlement dependent society is training people to believe their standard of living is a birthright instead of something earned. Crews paid to clear the streets should give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. If they believe their compensation is unfair, they should quit and live off Obama’s permanent unemployment benefits until someone agrees with them. Instead, they believe their job and their salary is more important than anything else in the world–even human lives.

At least two deaths have been attributed to the uncleared streets in the city. A baby born in an apartment building lobby died after 911 calls went unanswered for hours. Another woman called 911 when her mother began struggling to breathe. It took three hours for emergency crews to respond, and even then their ambulance was stranded a block and a half from the woman’s residence. Her mother was dead when they arrived. If these deaths could have been prevented, and if the plow operator confessors’ stories are true, these lives were sacrificed to pad workers’ paychecks and/or to protest city budget cuts.

If it turns out these allegations are true, workers and supervisors who participated in this job action should be fired and prosecuted. And if true, I hope they are haunted by nightmares of these deaths for the rest of their lives.


Tags: Blizzard, New York City, New York Post, Protest, Bloomberg, Entitlement

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December 30, 2010 - Posted by | Labor

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