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PEOPLES GAS COMPANY ISSUES STATEMENT

 PITTSBURGH, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Peoples Natural Gas Company's Ed Schwartz, general manager of customer activities, expressed surprise at the Gas Employees' Union Local 666 reaction to the company's decision to contract out some work involving delinquent accounts, a spokesman said today.
 "We've been using a contractor for these activities at our Wilkinsburg office since 1991.
 "We need to get some work accomplished over the next six to eight months," Schwartz said. "We do not have the staffing to perform this work on an overtime basis and it obviously makes no sense to hire full-time people for seasonal work," he added.
 Starting around April 1, six people from an outside firm will be deployed to the Kiski Valley, Gibsonia, Greensburg, Hopewell and Wilkinsburg areas. "These workers will be delivering delinquent notices, and in some cases doing special meter readings. They will be properly identified so that customers can recognize them as representatives of The Peoples Natural Gas Company.
 "This is not the type of work that requires extensive training nor a lot of experience to perform competently. These contract workers will not be working with gas nor gas handling facilities. Certainly, there is no issue of safety involved with the activities they'll be performing.
 "The decision is essentially one of economics and our desire to run an efficient operation for the benefit of our customers and stockholders. The company is faced with a growing delinquent bill problem and we need to work hard to minimize it for the benefit of good paying customers who share the costs of delinquent accounts."
 Peoples serves 336,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the 16 southwest contiguous counties of Western Pennsylvania.
 -0- 3/26/93
 /CONTACT: Elmore Lockley of Peoples Natural Gas, 412-392-2467/


CO: The Peoples Natural Gas Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:

CD-CC -- PG009 -- 0207 03/26/93 18:08 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 26, 1993
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