An exclusive report from today’s New York Post alleges that the NYC sanitation workers deliberately sabotaged clean-up efforts during the weekend blizzard under union orders. While streets were being plowed properly and promptly in Manhattan, the surrounding boroughs like Brooklyn were ignored. Councilman Dan Holloran of Queens said today that he met with a group of sanitation workers who now feel guilty about participating in a union protest over layoffs and budget cuts set to take place. The fiasco of the aftermath of the winter storm has put Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the defensive.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 29: Bystanders and emergency workers stand before attempting to free an ambulance stuck on a side street in the Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn December 29, 2010 in New York City. Many side streets, especially those in the outer boroughs, are still unplowed in the wake of a massive snowstorm that crippled much of New York and left millions of holiday travelers stuck at airports and train stations around the eastern seaboard. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Holloran met with three plow workers from the Sanitation Department and two supervisors from the Department of Transportation who were ‘on loan’ during the snow emergency. They told Holloran that union leaders ordered them to work slow and to ignore whole sections and streets, including some major roadways. These public employees were told by their union leadership to deliberately drag out the process in order to rack up overtime. Some even were told specific methods of sabotage, such as keeping the plow blades higher than normal so that streets were not fully cleared.

The Christmas blizzard was the 6th worst in New York City’s history, with an average of twenty inches of snow accumulating due to a powerful Nor’Eastern storm off the Atlantic coast. Heavy snowfall and winds impacted the entire Northeast United States, causing thousands of airline flights to be cancelled as well as bus and train service suspended up and down the East Coast. Several deaths have been attributed to the blizzard.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference this afternoon where he remained neutral on the charges that the unions deliberately sabotaged clean-up efforts. However, he did state that there will be an investigation into the matter. Outgoing New York governor, David Patterson, also called for an investigation earlier in the day. Bloomberg acknowledged that mistakes were made in preparations for dealing with the blizzard.

Public service employees nationwide earn far more money than the average private sector employee. In New Jersey, they earn on average nearly double. Union benefits and wages are a major reason for the sorry financial condition of many states and numerous municipalities. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie has taken the unions on. Even NY’s Gov. Patterson, a Democrat, has crossed swords with public employee unions in an effort to assert some fiscal responsibility.

So did NYC sanitation workers and unions deliberately drag out and foul up cleanup efforts? Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that there would be an investigation into the response to the winter storm. The New York Post also obtained photographs which they published today of one snow plow driver taking a nap Monday morning. The article claims that the driver was asleep from about 9:30am till 11am. This, coupled with the stories from guilt-ridden sanitation workers points to a general arrogance acted upon by union officials. The Christmas blizzard that brought New York City to a complete halt was a bad one. But even today, four full weekdays after the event, many streets in NYC’s outlying boroughs like Brooklyn remain impassable. If the proposed investigations prove that there was deliberate sabotage perpetrated by union workers as a form of protest, the consequences could be far worse than mere budget cuts and layoffs.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 29: Bystanders and emergency workers attempt to free an ambulance stuck on a side street in the Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn December 29, 2010 in New York City. Many side streets, especially those in the outer boroughs, are still unplowed in the wake of a massive snowstorm that crippled much of New York and left millions of holiday travelers stuck at airports and train stations around the eastern seaboard. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 28: The word 'HELP' is written on the window of a car covered in snow on West 73rd Street on December 28, 2010 in New York City. Two days after a blizzard pounded the city many of the city's streets remain unclear. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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