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PEOPLES GAS: CONTRACT WITH UNION EXPIRES

 PITTSBURGH, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Peoples Natural Gas Company and Local 666 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) failed to reach agreement on a new contract before the existing contract expired at midnight Wednesday, Oct. 27, 1993, the company said today.
 The bargaining unit members are continuing to work under the existing agreement as negotiations continue.
 According to Peoples Gas Vice President of Human Resources Jim Flinn, some key issues remain unresolved with regard to wages and benefits. "We're optimistic that a settlement can be reached through good faith bargaining by the union and company," said Flinn.
 The union represents 594 Peoples Gas employees or approximately half of the company's work force of 1,232.
 Among the issues unresolved is the company's proposal to establish a new medical benefits package for members of the bargaining unt? and future bargaining unit retirees. "We are offering the union the same medical benefits package that our salaried and management employees will have starting Jan. 1, 1994," said Flinn.
 Peoples Gas has experienced a 57 percent increase in the cost of providing medical benefits to its bargaining unit employees over the last five years (1988-1992). "The new plan offers employees a wide range of choices and improvements with regard to medical benefits, while providing opportunities to reduce the cost of those benefits through managed care," Flinn added.
 Flinn also said that the issue of wages cannot be resolved until a settlement has been reached with regard to benefits.
 Peoples Gas provides natural gas service to 313,531 residential, 22,297 commercial and 178 industrial customers in 16 counties throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.
 -0- 10/28/93
 /CONTACT: Elmore Lockley, 412-392-2467, or Steve Dishart, 412-497-5614, both of The Peoples Natural Gas Company/


CO: The Peoples Natural Gas Company; Service Employees International
 Union Local 666 ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:


KC-DM -- PG001 -- 7698 10/28/93 08:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 28, 1993
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