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Gas Co. Union To Customers: Don't Pay Your Bills If We Strike

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Disgruntled workers for one of the Southland's biggest utilities signaled Thursday they could be ready to go on strike — and they want local customers to stand with them.

KNX 1070's Brian Ping reports the potential work stoppage at the Southern California Gas Company is still on the table.


Unionized workers for the utility are hoping widespread civil disobedience will persuade the Gas Company to back off threats to cut wages and benefits.

Maria Elena Durazo of the Los Angeles AFL-CIO says if the company follows through with those threats, they want gas customers to make a bold show of solidarity.

"We would launch a campaign that would ask the customers not to pay their bills," said Durazo. "For us, to pay their bills at a time the Gas Company would force these workers on strike doesn't make sense."

While there is still no firm date on a walkout, Durazo said the compensation cutbacks are unacceptable since the union has been striving to boost public safety in the wake of last year's deadly pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

"I think it's important to send a message to a powerful corporation that has a virtual monopoly on the industry," she said. "It's important for the community at large to say, 'What you're doing is wrong'."


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