NY workers accused of go-slow on snow removal in revenge for spending cuts

Friday, December 31, 2010

NEW YORK - Workers in New York have reportedly been told by their supervisors to remove the piles of snow that have paralysed parts of city slowly in revenge for public spending cuts.

Dan Halloran, a city councilman, alleged that five city employees had contacted him and informed him of their unhappiness over a “go-slow” protest being mounted by some of their colleagues.

While Councilman Halloran did not disclose the names of the employees who had contacted him, he claimed that some managers who were demoted to save money wanted to “send a message” to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“These supervisors gave ploughers the green light to not tackle the storm aggressively.They were told ‘take your time and don’t rush’,” Halloran told The Daily Telegraph.

He added that the disgruntled supervisors and workers appear determined not to allow the Bloomberg administration to benefit from their hard work.

Cuts were made as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to reduce the city’s two billion dollar budget deficit.

About 10,000 city workers are expected to be sacked over the next 18 months.

Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, Bloomberg has ordered the deployment of snow in every street of the city except for those still blocked by stuck cars.

On Thursday, Bloomberg said that tow trucks would have those vehicles cleared in the afternoon, and that plows would return to streets still buried.

Bloomberg continues to acknowledge that the city’s response to the piled up snow has been “inadequate and unacceptable” and said that his office would conduct an extensive review of what went wrong.

“We’re not making excuses.The response to the storm has not met our standards or the standards that New Yorkers have come to expect from us. When something goes wrong we find out why it went wrong and we roll up our sleeves and fix it,” he said.

He added: “The response to this snowstorm was inadequate and unacceptable.”

Bloomberg held a news conference in Queens after visits to Staten Island and Brooklyn where he spoke with residents about their snowbound plights. He also visited the city’s Bronx area on Thursday afternoon.

He said that 1,600 plows and other equipment were clearing streets Thursday alongside 2,000 day laborers hired to shovel out bus stops and snow piles. The last of the 600 buses that were stuck have been freed, he added.

John J. Doherty, the sanitation commissioner, said he would look into claims that his department’s rank-and-file deliberately slowed down the cleanup work to protest budget cuts.

“We have to look into that. I have not seen that. I’ve seen a lot of dedicated people out there,” Doherty added.

The sanitation department has denied Halloran’s allegation.

“There are no organised or wildcat actions being taken by the workers or the supervisors,” a spokesman said.

Unions also rejected the claims. (ANI)

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