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Snow job

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Seven On Your Side
March 14, 2011 2:49:55 PM PDT
You may remember, after the December blizzard, an emergency call went out for snow shovelers. But some of those people who stepped forward, never got paid. "You should pay me. I dug you out of a situation, you should dig me out of mine because I'm behind in my bills now." When the city couldn't dig itself out from under record-setting blizzards this winter Maureen Wyatt grabbed a shovel and went to work.

"It's hard but it's fun its good exercise. I like cold weather, I like snow. so all of that's is good for me," says Maureen.

The pay was good too, $12 an hour for any snow day laborers willing to strap on their boots and heed Mayor Bloomberg's pleas for help. But no one's helping Maureen now. She hasn't seen a dime after putting in 105 hours.

"(The city owes me) over a thousand dollars," says Maureen.

Her time sheets show the hours. 8 hours a day for 13 days of clearing buried bus stops and clogged crosswalks from Columbus Circle all the way to 110th Street.

We contacted the New York City Department of Sanitation to see what the hold up was. A spokesperson said the back to back storms plus the unprecedented accumulation of snow had the city hire 5,000 day laborers and admits they're behind. Instead of taking 4 to 6 weeks it was taking up to 3 months to get workers paid.

A week after we spoke to the department, 6,000 checks went out to snow day laborers including Maureen's.

"I am ecstatic," said Maureen. "I am so happy and I appreciate everything you did for me I really needed this is mine. I worked for this."

Maureen received a check, $868 bucks. And next time it snows, she'll be back out there but hoping she gets paid before spring.

Story by: Nina Pineda

Produced by: Steve Livingstone


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