New York – NY Post: Sanitation Workers Targeted Borough Park


    Streets of Borough Park Dec. 28 2010. Photo: EliNew York – There was a method to their madness.

    The selfish Sanitation bosses who sabotaged the blizzard cleanup to fire a salvo at City Hall targeted politically connected and well-heeled neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn to get their twisted message across loud and clear, The Post has learned.

    Their motives emerged yesterday as the city’s Department of Investigation admitted it began a probe earlier this week after hearing rumblings of a coordinated job action.

    Sources told The Post several neighborhoods were on the workers’ hit list — including Borough Park and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn and Middle Village in Queens — because residents there have more money and their politicians carry big sticks.

    “It was more targeted than people actually think,” said a labor source. “Borough Park was specifically targeted [because of] . . . its ability to sort of gin up the p.r. machine.”

    The plan worked. Residents of those neighborhoods — who, after three days, were still trying to dig out their cars — are apoplectic.

    “It’s hurting people for greed,” seethed Barry Coogan, 60, who lives on 64th Road in Middle Village. “Whoever made those decisions should lose their jobs.

    “Don’t hurt the neighborhood so you can’t get medical help.”

    In Brooklyn, Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind called the clean-up “an absolute disaster.”

    “You have the most unbelievable anger I’ve ever seen,” he said of his Borough Park constituents.

    The revelation came as:

    * A Queens baby was brain dead last night after poorly plowed roads hampered efforts to rescue him.

    * Sources said Sanitation bosses issued verbal directives during the clean-up to give priority to streets near the homes of agency heads and other city bigwigs. “This happens all the time,” one Sanit worker said. “They make sure the bosses and politicians get taken care of.”

    * Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s insistence that all roads would be plowed at least once by yesterday morning, many were untouched, with snow still piled high. “We still have work to do,” Bloomberg later said.

    * Even as streets in the outer boroughs waited for a single plow to arrive, crews were clearing bicycle lanes on the Upper West Side. Bloomberg, however, insisted that was not happening.

    Across the city, residents still confined to their homes by the storm’s after-effects had plenty of blame both for Bloomberg and the rogue Sanitation workers.

    Moshe Pollack, 55, of Borough Park, said, “It’s disgusting. And we pay them overtime for this? People could have died.”

    John Delliliune, 42, of Penelope Avenue in Middle Village said he was “very disappointed” but “not surprised.”

    “I saw plows driving around with their shovels up,” he fumed, adding, “I would like to see some disciplinary action to whoever made the call.”

    Hikind said his phone had been ringing off the hook.

    “I just know that something went wrong, and God is not to blame,” he said.

    Hikind said he had been told months ago that Sanitation Department unions were planning some sort of slowdown or job action to protest budget cuts.

    Chaya Schron, who lives in Midwood, Brooklyn, said she didn’t hear any plows passing by her bedroom window Sunday night or Monday morning.

    “I suspected a slowdown from the very beginning. It didn’t make sense,” she said.

    On Monday, she saw a plow drive down her street with its blade up.

    “When we asked why his plow was up, he said he had instructions not to plow side streets because it wastes gas,” she said. “I was in disbelief.”

    Gov. Paterson yesterday morning called for a criminal investigation, and Bloomberg said such a job action would be an “outrage.”

    A DOI spokeswoman told The Post her agency has been probing the actions of plow drivers and supervisors all week, trying to determine “whether there was intentional misconduct in connection with snow removal. We are in the throes of that.”

    The slowdown was confirmed Wednesday by City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who met with a group of guilt-stricken plow drivers and supervisors who dropped a dime on their colleagues.

    Yesterday, Halloran provided The Post with two videos showing a plow driver in Queens driving his truck on a snow-covered road without plowing it.

    The snitches said they were told to leave many roads unplowed and skip streets that were not on their routes.

    The hostility stems from a series of labor and budget cuts that are culminating today with demotions — and resulting salary declines — for 100 supervisors.

    The president of the sanitation supervisors union continued to deny any subversion.

    And Harry Nespoli, president of the union that represents the Sanitation Department’s rank and file, also denied a slowdown and welcomed all investigations. He admitted, though, that some plow drivers could be slowing down on their own.

    “Look, individually, if you walk around, you’re going to see a truck doing something [wrong]? Yeah,” Nespoli said. “You’re going to have people that are annoyed.”

    Not as annoyed as the people whose streets were left buried.

    “It makes my blood boil. Those people should be reprimanded,” said Marlon Singh, 33, who lives on 94th Street in Middle Village.

    “They made us feel like we live in a Third World country.”

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    1. In the winter of 1968, there was a garbage strike in NYC, which lasted for close to three weeks; hence, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was some sort of a wildcat strike, or slowdown this time. These sanitation workers have the “give me, give me, give me” mentality. I remember that prior to 1966, they used to ring our bell, looking for their annual gratuity, around the holidays. They are the highest paid, and most inefficient sanitation workers in the United States.

      • I find it ironic that you brought up the garbage strike of 1968. This happened exactly 10 years to date of the passing of the “little wagner act” the unionization of the municipal workers. Even more insidious is that prior to 1966 Wagner was Mayor, he stepped down after 3 terms in 1965, but he announced a run again in 1968…It is possible the unions had the ulterior motive of showing that with a “friend” in office they would behave. (Not to discount their motive of ever higher pay). The primary problem with unionization, is that it creates more value in the work based on limiting the supply of labor. We know that sanitation is incredibly important, and it has been proven through this snow storm, but in a non-unionized world if someone went on strike, another could take the job (this is NOT highly specialized work…just highly important work).

    2. The mayor is still at fault , as the leader of the city he should of come down to boro park see the streets with his own eye and direct the sanitation workers where to clean ! Just like the mayor of newark did ! Instead this arrogant person relied on underlings that were completely incompetent (his regular guys were all on vacation) and they were only interested to cover the mayors back not help anyone

      Now the mayor will pay a very deep price ! The same way as rudy is remembered as the mayor of 9 11 , bloomberg will be remembered as the mayor of the bloomberg blizzard

    3. Either way, I blame Bloomberg. If he would do his job right, he would be able to maintain proper relationships. His open contempt for the unions is the wrong way to get what he needs from them. The sanitation department is clearly wrong.for their behavior. But a contempt filled mayor leads to predictable outcomes.

    4. Who would’ve thunk???
      And now, the garbage pile-up not picked up since (last) Saturday, which now is a full week!
      I don’t blame Bloomberg for trying to believe his staff, he’s used to surrounding himself with executives that answer to his authoritive call and is unawares of the Union’s powers (read: Maffia) to lie to his face while they give opposite orders behind their backs.

    5. The mayor is still at fault , as the leader of the city he should of come down to boro park see the streets with his own eye and direct the sanitation workers where to clean ! Just like the mayor of newark did ! Instead this arrogant person relied on underlings that were completely incompetent (his regular guys were all on vacation) and they were only interested to cover the mayors back not help anyone

      Now the mayor will pay a very deep price ! The same way as rudy is remembered as the mayor of 9 11 , bloomberg will be remembered as the mayor of the bloomberg blizzard

      • Would you stop bellyaching about Boro Park…I drove through the entire BP myself. It was well plowed considering some other areas that are STILL NOT PLOWED as of this morning (Friday). You get all you want by intimidation and “shochad”. Well, ya know what? It has come back to hit us ALL in the face now!! Will you sleep better tonight knowing that you hurt another yid? Your arrogance and demanding attitudes have cost many frum communities. We used to be a respected community as a whole. Then along came the “bessere mentchen” and thought they could improve on that….Your grandparents from the “alte heim” would be embarrassed to claim affiliation with you. Time to move.

        • Thats why its FINALLY plowed because we didnt keep quiet or we would be like those other streets that are not plowed yet almost a full week after the storm. I dont get what yuo want from him how he hit another yid in the face?? shochad?? what are you talking about?

    6. One thing is for sure. These two so called politicians will not get a thing out of Mayor Bloomberg in the next few years. It was totally gratuitous the whip lashing that they both gave the Mayor. Accomplish nothing and just grand standed for the community.
      Especially now that it will be proven that Boro Park was targeted by the Sanitation Supervisors, because of the big mouthed politician there that will get all the attention that they want.These politician actions will boomerang on the community

      • Here is what you need to understand ! Bloomberg is not the average politician , he is like a rich kid that can buy what even new toy he wants , when he wants it ! There is one thing you cannot buy is respect , you need to earn it ! This mayor loves respect and he thinks that he can be president if he decides he wants to buy it ! So on a personal note he will not leave in his will any money for hikind and greenfield ! But he will try very hard the next 3 years to win the respect from our community , that he was so sure he has it in his pocket

    7. Just shows you how out of touch Bloomberg is for day we was insisting
      that everything was fine they were doing such a good job, because his street was plowed. And so did Charlie Hall also say great good unions since the his street in the bronx was done, typical liberals.

    8. The people who were responcible for the slow down should be tried for manslaughter for the deaths that occured when ambulances couldn’t get through. Heads should roll and people should be jailed.

        • Yes, ALLAN, you and commenter #12 are being VERY realistic.

          I’m not going to clal you conspiracy theorists, but i will tell you that your scenario has as much chance of happening as SMR being found innocent.

          • Far from a conspiracy theorist…if there is criminality proven then why wouldn’t there be charges? The exception could be because of political pressure to keep a lid on the unions. People died, if the deliberate actions of others contributed to their deaths, do we just give them a free pass?
            To bring the SMR issue into this is like putting a piece of ham on kishke..too far away from reality, and the subject matter dealt with here.

            • the only part of your comment that doesn’t defy logic and common sense is comparing bringing one unkosher thing into the comparison with another….

            • You are right, ALLAN, those sanitation people who didn’t clear the streets fast enough for you should be tried for manslaughter.

              I would be able to hear the laughter all the way to my house if anyone outside of a mental facility seriously suggested it. And I, for one, would pay money to be there if it happened.

            • You are making light of a serious issue if there were those who made a deliberate decision to order/suggest a work slow down or target certain areas to be skipped. You would not be talking that way if G-D forbid a friend or relative had died as a result of what happened. I monitored the FDNY radio broadcasts after and during the storm, there were major frustrations by the dedicated members of FDNY because of lack of snow removal. The streets were not attended to, causing huge delays in reponse time. Ambulances and Fire Trucks were bogged down the day after the snow stopped falling.
              If all of that is amusing to you, it sure isn’t to me or most others. There has to be accountability….something big went wrong, and if was caused by people serving their own interests then it could be criminal.
              Have a nice day…no further replies are needed.

    9. My job requires that I drive much of the day around BP. I live in Flatbush, Brooklyn and I have never had any problems with Flatbush garbagemen. However, I have had many incidents in the past few years with BP garbageman. Two yeas ago a garbage truck had the whole width of the street avaialable to pick up the garbage but he chose to park diagonaly and block the street. I nicely asked the garbageman if would could move his truck about 3 or 4 feet so all of the cars could by. He answered me that we are too busy picking up food packages for Dov Hikind and mocked me. I wrote down the truck number and investigations confirmed my story and the crew was put on 1 year probation with a repremand. The Monday before the storm a sanition worker picking up garbage asked for me to move my car forward so it would be easier for him to pick up the garbage. I said sure and I moved my car up. After he picked up the garbage he banged on my car, cursed me out, threatened to kill me, and threw a garbage bag on my hood. The other crew member didn’t get involved at all. I reported this incident to NYDS, Dov Hiking, and David Greenfield. (Continued in next comme

    10. Why doesn’t mr bloomberg come and take a look at the streets to see for himself. There are still plenty of streets which aren’t plowed. There needs to be a full investigation in why things are still taking so long. This is absurd!!!!

    11. Since my incident happpened just before the snow storm my complaint is on hold until after the storm. The point is that the targetting of BP did not start with the storm. It has been going on for years but to a lesser extent. Garbagemen often intentionally block streets when picking up garbage when there is no reason to do so. Of course there are legitimate times when a garbage truck must block a street. The main point is that in general attitude of the garbagemen in BP are hostile toward the residents of BP. This is why I drive with a camera, cellphone, paper, and pen at all times to be able to report incidents of harrassment. Every resident in BP should do the same and immediately call 311 to report trouble. We cannot let this harrasment continue. When I heard that BP was targetted it was no surprize for me since I have been seeing mini-eposodes of targetting from garbagemen for several years now. Remeber report trouble it will improve the situation.

    12. Obviously Bloomberg is responsible as he is the City’s CEO.
      However if there was a deliberate effort by sanitation to do a poor job and people died— there is significant basis for liability- how bloody heartless shame on you. Maybe it is time to privatize garbage collection abd only contract with non union companies

      • Privatizing garbage collection is exactly what the mayor wants. He hired the deputy mayor, who is known for this from when he was in office in Indianapolis and is probably the reason Bloomberg hired him in the first place.
        It wouldn’t surprise me if the mayor is secretly pleased that the sanitation department did such a bad job. It wouldn’t surprise me if the mayor is behind many of the “leaks” coming out now about the slow-down. He’s getting the populace to focus on the sanitation department and when he finally gets to shut them down replacing them with private garbage collectors NYers will stand behind him.
        Conspiracy theory? Possibly, but possibly true as well.

    13. I wouldn’t be surprised if Harry Nespoli was the ring leader behind this – and if they find that someone died as a direct result of the unplowed streets he should be charged with murder in the first degree.

    14. You can’t compare Newark a city of 250,000 residents, to NYC, a city of 8,000,000 residents. I however do agree, that Bloomberg turned his eye away from the people he was supposed to protect and serve. His haughtiness and his out of touchness with the regular New Yorker will forever remain a tarnish on his career record.

    15. Who would’ve thunk???
      And now, the garbage pile-up not picked up since (last) Saturday, which now is a full week!
      I don’t blame Bloomberg for trying to believe his staff, he’s used to surrounding himself with executives that answer to his authoritive call and is unawares of the Union’s powers (read: Maffia) to lie to his face while they give opposite orders behind their backs.

    16. Last week I felt guilty for not greeting my regular sanitation workers with an annual gratuity. This week I feel satisfied that I didn’t and will not give them their usual “tip.”

    17. There is a simple solution here – privatize the sanitation service. It works very well – and for less money – everywhere else it’s been implemented. Enough with these union thieves. Finito la comedia!

    18. I don’t reside in an mostly Jewish area, yet it was also badly negleted. Today someone must have lit a fire under the backsides of the DOS because they are out plowing with a passion.

    19. In Crown hights we saw it clearly. The Jewish part is only 10×10 streets were not cleared. Union street between Brooklyn & Troy Aves (The Jewish streets only) were just cleared for the first time last night.

    20. NO ONE should have off this weekend. NO ONE, and there should NOT be overtime. The unions should suck it up because of their actions. EVERYONE should be out on the streets cleaning up the mess and picking up the garbage. There should be a directive from the Governor all the way down to the mayor. Heads should role. Anyone who does not comply should be fired!!!! Anyone who worked diligently should have the choice whether to take a shift or stay home with their families. They should have priority!

      • I would say that not only shouldn’t they get overtime, but they should be made to pay back their salaries and overtime from this past week — I refer only to those involved in the slow-down.

    21. Every supervisor whose supervisees didn’t do what they should have done should be immediately FIRED! FURTHERMORE, every family or individual who suffered an injury or loss because of the deliberate slowdown should file a lawsuit against the city, the union, and the individual supervisors involved. Unions have outlived their usefullness in our society and should be outlawed or restricted.

    22. City hall should fire the entire sanitation dept,just like Reagen did to the air traffic controllers. Most ( not all) of the unions are corrupt. and the majority are controlled by the mafia. This is fact( i am not going to elaborate) not fiction.ESPECIALLY the School Bus industry.
      The mafia’s intention was to control the unions, ( which they do) which in turn controls the labor force and daily life in America.
      I said this from the get go. this incident was not an accident, it was a DELIBERATE work action/stoppage by the sanitation dept and their union.
      I call these people the Legal Mafia.
      They go into the same category as dirty cops,corrupt and drunk fire fighters.( i am not here to demean the honest ones)
      case in point, that firefighter Quigrielliio ( or whatever his name is) from 65th st who ran over and killed that illegal alien 3 months ago,on 65 and 21 ave,lied thru his mouth after the accident,when they traced his car back to him,saying that he didnt know who drove the car. That lowlife. He finally surrendered last week.
      In closing, any civil servant or public official who abuses his power,or the integrity.of his office or position should be fired and or jailed.

      • run for mayor, and if you win, you can put your ridiculous plans into action. Until then, sit down and shut up. You make the frum community look like fools for espousing these fairy tales as fact.


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