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UNION CLAIMS PEOPLES GAS VIOLATES UTILITY SHUT-OFF RULES

 PITTSBURGH, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, local 666 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) filed a formal complaint with the Public Utility Commission (P.U.C.) charging that Peoples Natural Gas (P.N.G.) has violated P.U.C. regulations by hiring an outside contractor to handle shut-offs, the union said.
 These regulations require that prior to a termination, an "authorized utility employee" shall attempt to make personal contact with the customer to explain the reasons for the termination and how to avoid it.
 J.J. Johnston, president of Local 666 SEIU, said, "The P.U.C. regulations are very clear. An employee of P.N.G. -- not an outside contractor -- must perform this work. The P.U.C. wrote these provisions with good reason. In the case of a termination of service, all caution must be taken to assure that consumers clearly understand the reasons for the termination and how to avoid the termination. We do not believe that the public or the company is well served if untested outsiders are allowed to do this work, which up until now has been done by experienced and trusted long-term employees. We are simply asking the P.U.C. to enforce the regulation they have written."
 When P.N.G. hired the outside contractor in March, members of Local 666 leafletted 20,000 customers warning them that there was "a stranger in their house," and urging them to contact the P.U.C. to put an end to this plan.
 SEIU local 666 represents 600 employees of Peoples Natural Gas in western Pennsylvania. SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the United States and the newest million member union. In Pennsylvania, SEIU represents over 50,000 workers.
 -0- 10/6/93
 /CONTACT: J.J. Johnston, president, of SEIU Local 666, 412-838-8911/


CO: Service Employees International Union; Public Utility Commission;
 Peoples Natural Gas ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL SU:


CD-CC -- PG006 -- 9309 10/06/93 11:42 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 6, 1993
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