December 31, 2010

Damn the NYC Sanitation Department

Monique Chartier

... not because their catastrophically timed labor action caused death, injury and serious inconvenience to hundreds of thousands but because they have succeeded in the impossible: casting the micro-megalomaniac mayor of that city in a favorable light by exculpating him.

The New York Post reports.

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.

Now how can we blame Bloomberg for the snow removal disaster???

On a more serious note, civil lawsuits against both the sanitation labor union and individual members are almost certainly on the horizon. And the calls for criminal charges are not out of line. Individuals so charged need to keep in mind the discredited status of the defense, "I was just following orders".

Solidarity Forever is great up to the point that it endangers human life. Though an exceedingly rare occurance (pay and "purchased" politicians aside, most organized professionals take rather the opposite view of their position), NY Local 831 decisively and repugnantly crossed that line this week.

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It is not all just a "labor action". There is an interesting video on YouTube showing a front end loader being extracted from a situation where the operator couldn't remove himself. In the process a Ford Explorer is smashed. While watching it, I realized that an experienced operator could have easily moved the machine by lifting it on its bucket.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 31, 2010 12:49 PM
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