Video Shows NYC Sanitation Workers Drinking, Napping During Shifts Post-Blizzard

By now, we’re all well aware of the debacle that unfolded in the wake of the recent Northeast blizzard. Certain mayors of major cities, vacationing governors, airlines, airport employees, and various sanitation workers were all among those who felt the ire and scrutiny of a frustrated public who just wanted to fly home / leave their driveways / stroll down a sidewalk without having to climb over several feet of grimy snow. Now, video footage obtained by a CBS affiliate shows that, despite its objections, the Department of Sanitation did not do all that it could to clean up after the storm.

The footage, which has prompted action by the Department of Investigation, shows sanitation workers unwinding at a Dunkin’ Donuts for hours, napping and drinking during their shifts, and driving through snow-choked Queens with their plows raised (in other words: not working). Sanitation workers have come forward claiming that their supervisors encouraged them to work slowly. Reports also allege that supervisors refused to hand out jobs to workers in residential areas and secondary streets in the outer boroughs, leaving workers to merely sit and wait during their shifts.

CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported that the video is just one of the factors prompting an investigation into the city’s response by Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch and district attorneys in the outer boroughs (where cleanup was slowest) in addition to the Department of Investigation. It’s a hollow victory, sure, but the footage – and claims by workers themselves – echo what New Yorkers in Queens and Brooklyn have been saying for days: That the city has left them feeling ignored and left out in the cold.

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