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’.”

Comments (52)
  1. jayjay says:

    i have natural gas. so cal edison did not pay us for those stupid blackouts

  2. icecream says:

    Who will help us when they disconnect our service ???

    1. cd says:

      the people that disconnect service are the one striking

      1. bob says:

        Someone else will disconnect. Besides, if I don’t pay, you will receive late fees. Will the union pay those fees for me? I didn’t think so

  3. Homer J says:

    Everybodys having cutbacks, it’s time for the gas co, to have them too. Quit whining you little over paid babys. Go on strike, I’ll be glad to fill your position and I’ll probably do a better job. F the union.

    1. eric hofmann says:

      the problem is homer, even in this climate, the gas company is still making record profits. Let me say that again, RECORD PROFITS! in this climate? Are you kidding? It sounds to me like maybe they should pass of some of the savings to its customers, while offering fair compensation and medical to its employees. When sempra energy killed one of its employees, leaving behind a wife and kids they gave her 50,000 when it was their fault. I hope she sues them for all their worth.

      1. Annoyed!!! says:

        I’m sorry Eric but from what I’ve heard the gas company does offer a fair compensation to it’s employees. It’s obvious you work for the company…what is your hourly wage??? I’m certain it’s not minimum wage. They are a corporation and they are in this business to make money it doesn’t mean that they have to automatically pay their employees more. SCG is offering a raise in pay from what I have heard, it’s not like they are making RECORD PROFITS and telling their employees they are going to have to cut your pay in half are they????? I didn’t think so.

  4. m says:

    Trust tghe unions! Why? Next we will hear tha the Unions ae Republikans!

    1. eric says:


      yes it’s true i work for the company. I won’t deny it’s a good job. It used to be a great job, and big corporate greed has taken away so much of what used to make it so. After the merger with Sempra, this company lost a lot of its employer-employee values it use to predicate itself upon. And yes, I do not work for minimum wage, however the services i provide in conjunction with the training I have, and education to back up, have earned more than minimum wages. Yes, the company is offering a raise..However, when the actual math is done, with the increases to our medical, it’s actually a pay reduction. Look at their earnings. They made more money in the last 5 years (in this economy) in profit than they ever have. That’s RECORD PROFIT! There’s a lot of things behind the curtains that unfortunately the public isn’t aware of, something the union must do a better job of.

  5. erick says:

    it would just be temp. it does not reflect on your credit as long as its payed 30 days after the due date. and everyone is expecting that within those 30 days it gets resolved. and if they are on strike there will be nobody to shut off services 🙂

    1. Duh! says:

      And if it doesn’t get resolved in 30 days????

      There are plenty of people out of work that can be hired at non-union wages and thus my gas bill won’t increase. Who do you think pays the inflated wages of these union employees? The customers do.

  6. Ray says:

    Yes right you guys strike and we pay higher rates later go on strike hope you lose your fing job

  7. erick says:

    Ray ur crying for a gas bill that 20-50 wow u must be cheap lol

    1. Duh! says:

      @Erick – What would you do if your gas bill doubled or tripled? That is what is down the road if the Gas company keeps paying union employees inflated wages.

      But maybe your independently wealthy, so you can pay all our gas bills for us. Or are you too cheap to do that?

    2. bob says:

      unions crying over a $20 pay cut? wow they must be cheap lol

  8. Dean says:

    Hell, I will pay my bill earlier and maybe a couple months in advance.
    Unions can kiss a horses rear end for all I care, nothing but thugs and thieves.

  9. George says:

    In that case, I’ll be sure to pay my bills, and early!

  10. ALG says:

    One more comment. Union reps say that so.cal gas has a monopoly of the industry.
    You know what people, THE UNIONS HAVE A MONOPOLY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. One of the reasons we have such a terrible economy is the UNIONS.
    It’s time to get rid of the unions and start over. I want a President that will do that.
    I want a President who will remove from this country ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS.

    1. Ron says:


  11. john says:

    Unions strike and they DISRUPT our daily lives, Bahh to them.

  12. Bob says:

    hahaha yeah, I’m gonna risk getting my gas cut off so I can pay MORE in the future.

    I would happily pay double if SCG can find a way to de-unionize their workforce.

  13. rg says:

    I work for SCG and I can tell you for a fact that the union is putting out misinformation. Wages are great, benefits are great, working conditions supurb. The company is one of the few who is hiring in this messed up economy. The only reason people stay in the union in this company is because there is no choice to opted out. The union’s old fasion communist tactics are outdated for these times. People would bulldoze me over to get my job in a second. Going on strike is the worst thing the union could ever do.

    1. Ron says:

      rg, nice to hear an employee/union member speak the TRUTH.

      You are correct about the UNION’s COMMUNIST tactics. That is WHY UNIONs NEED to be ABOLISHED !!!! Remember that the DEMOCRATS are the UNION party, when you vote at ELECTION time. If you HATE the UNIONS, VOTE anything BUT Democrat.

      And if YOU voted for OBAMA, ask yourself are you BETTER off NOW, then before HE was ELECTED? ALL TALK and WASTED Taxpayers(millions) MONEY, BUT NO IMPROVEMENT. It will continue to be the SAME OLD, SAME OLD.

      1. eric says:


        cleary rg is in management, on the other side of this negotiation. He’s not speaking the truth, he’s speaking to whatever his departmant manger is having him march to. If it weren’t for unions, middle class america would be wiped out, especially with democratic administration. Am I better off with Obama, no…But I’m not worse off than when I was with your boy W. I’d suggest before you’re ready to put more honest men out of their homes and further away from their families, get educated on the topic before you make yourself look foolish.

      2. Ron says:

        @eric, I WILL match WITS with YOU anytime and YOU WILL be the one who will look FOOLISH !!!

        And by the way, W. was NOT my choice.

      3. eric says:

        @ Ron,

        Consider this a battle of wits. Since clearly you have everything figured out without having to have any education or any real intel on the matter, maybe you could help me with something else you surely must be an expert on…

        Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
        –Something I’ve often pondered, and until now, hadn’t the slightest idea of where to seek an answer to. Can’t wait for your response.

      4. ALG says:

        @ron, and others who responded lately. It’s either very extreme right wing comments or the opposite. Why.
        If you live in LA, and are a customer of the gas co., you should be very satisfied with their service. If you’re not, then there’s something wrong with you.
        There will always be those out there that want desperately to DESTROY something that’s good.
        don’t you AH’S know that we’re in a very bad economic situation?
        Stop rocking the boat. Believe me, if we were in a situation where our country was economically sound for the next 20 years, I wouldn’t be writing this.UNLESS the UNIONS were trying what they do again.

      5. Ron says:

        @eric, funny you should ask, because this one still has pertinence today. They were TOLD by their UNION that if they wore those HELMETS, they would survive the CRASH !!!


    why doesn’t the union say donot pay property taxes, file state/federal taxes unless the dream act is abolished?

  15. I ain't stupid says:

    OK. If I don’t pay my bill, my gas service will be cut off. What is the union going to do for me if I don’t have gas service? Will they pay for my food if I have to eat out? Will they pay for my lodgings if I have to stay there for a hot shower? If the answer is no, why should I???

  16. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Customers to Gas Company Union : GO TAKE A HIKE!

  17. John says:

    This is the stupidest strike concept I’ve ever heard. It would be like a grocery strike where the urged you to shoplift your food from the market. If you use the gas, you pay for it. Seriously, what idiot came up with this?

  18. Fed Up says:

    Gas prices are based on what the suppliers are charging. The natural gas is not marked up. You all have the wrong idea. Also, this does not affect your credit, it’s a utility not a car payment. It’s a matter of showing them that their employees AND the public stand together. They are making RECORD profits and wanting to strip everything away from their employees and RAISE medical costs. It’s sickening, I would completely understand if the company was hurting. They are not hurting by any means!

    1. LBC says:

      Your “sickened”? Why don’t you mention the 10+% raise that’s being offered while they are “wanting to strip everything away”? Medical costs are going up for everyone. I wish I didn’t have to pay more every year, but that’s life. Why don’t you stike the gas stations for raising gas prices all of the time, they sure are making record profits and I don’t think they are subsidising your trips the grocery store.

    2. Annoyed!! says:

      Are you kidding me?? I’m sure the company is not striping everything away from it’s employees because if they were it would be all over the news like the grocery workers possible strike was. It’s a given that medical insurance premiums and costs are going to go up especially with the amount of people in this world that are over weight and in poor health. SCG is making money, which is what corporations do, that doesn’t mean they need to pay their employees more than what they are making now. The employees should be happy to have a job especially in the times we are living in now. For a Union spokesperson to encourage customers to not pay their gas bills is irresponsible and idiotic. She should be removed from whatever position she holds in the Union. The members should get together and strike about her being a moron!!!!

    3. Ron says:

      Fed Up, YOU have to BE a UNION REP or one of the STUPIDEST people in the WORLD, to think that the PUBLIC will fall for your UNION LIES !!!!

  19. ALG says:

    TO FED UP: It doesn’t matter if the company is hurting or not. You, Mr. Fed Up ah,
    are irritated that the gas company is making money. You don’t like that. You obviously work for the gas company or the Union. I suspect the Union. Unions always want more so they can charge their members more. So tell me, How is your PENSION DOING??? Pretty good huh. Thanks to the gas company.
    and your communist ah UNION.
    You don’t pay your gas bill, it affects your credit eventually.
    Sorry FEDUP, I don’t stand with you or your Union. I stand with the gas company.
    period ….over and out.

    1. Ron says:

      ALG, You are correct. Fed Up needs to pull is head out of his BUTT, so he has a better chance of thinking straight. IT ABSOLUTELY affects your CREDIT and you will have a VERY difficult time when you move and you need to hookup to gas again.

      PEOPLE, do NOT believe ANYTHING UNION employees tell you, because they do NOT care about YOUR future FINANCIAL problems or livelihood. The UNION is ONLY for the UNION and it’s UNION dues and bosses inflated pay and benefits.

  20. bob says:

    Im sorry,,, this story doesn’t state what the company is doing wrong to the workers. I believe that the only reason to strike is because workers are either:
    1. not paid a fair wage ( better be ready to get a new job if others work for what you are offered)
    2. employee is forced to work in unsafe conditions.

    Since I see no proof of either of these I can’t support any strike

  21. LBC says:

    It would be nice if KNX would provide a sound bite from The Gas Company to balance out the story. My instrincts tell me there’s much more to this than the union spokesperson is portraying.

  22. eric hofmann says:

    In Response to GAS CUSTOMER>>>
    You are the one who is a moron. The workers are not looking for higher wages, they’re looking for the same wages, without cutbacks. This company is making RECORD PROFITS OFF OF YOU EVEN IN THIS ECONOMY! RECORD PROFITS! And they want to stomp on their workers? Corporate Greed at its finest

  23. eric h says:

    how come everyone is so quick to slam on hourly workers trying to protect their families health and livelihoods digging holes and getting their faces burned off , and yet no one was boycotting the NFL and its Players Union while those guys get paid millions of dollars every year?

    Its clear Americas priorities are totally out of control, when entertainment succeeds fire-fighters, police officers, school teachers and utility workers

    1. bob says:

      I’ve boycotted pro sports for at least a decade. As far as not paying my bills to support them? HAHAHAHA

    2. The Watcher says:

      Eric aren’t you a CSR in Redlands? The Company is watching.

    3. eric says:

      The Watcher,

      Mr. “Watcher”…

      If you knew me at all, the last thing you’d want to do is leave threatening messages of intimidation scare tactics…I don’t rattle as easily as you may hope. If you’d like to have an intelligent conversation, I’d be more than happy to aid in heightening your debate skills, (or lack there of..)

  24. aa says:

    better get rid of the union clowns before it’s too late

  25. cool, calm, collective says:

    so much right wing action on here, instead of acting on pure emotion, take a minute, do some research and really find out what the issues are here. A company is making record money in this economy. That’s good. When a company performs, it generally suggests the product(s) they sell and the services they provide are that of which a consumer likes. Well, a good way of demonstrating the company’s appreciation for the services it’s employees have provided to generate such a profitable revenue, it to reward them with compensation. Not necessarily with raises, but at least without takeaways. The increases to medical, post retiree medical, and changes in retirement wages greatly outweigh a 10% wage increase over a span of 5 years. Just do some more research, and the truth in absolute abundance shall conquer.

  26. Ron says:

    @cool, calm, collective, the gas co. is a utility co. and they don’t operate in a free market, they have a monopoly. If you don’t like their product or service, you CAN’T just go to another business to get the same product, with small exceptions, like all electric homes, propane in the boonies, etc.

    It’s NOT the same as going to the store and choosing which brand of cereal you want.

  27. Ralph says:

    I don’t like the idea of asking people not paying their bill to support the blue collar
    workers of SoCalGas. But there are other ways people can voice their support
    by calling in or sending Emails. The Gas Co. Employees Scored #1 on JD Powers
    Survey for customer service,compared to all utilities in the country that’s speaks volumes. Employees make on average get paid 69k a year, living here in So Cal would hardly call that living rich.The raise proposal the company offers doesn’t come close to off set the cost of living so that means there will be less money for the economy less cash means less buying power and that effect trickles down to everyone.

    1. alg says:

      Ralph – why are you making a comment on an article way back in September?
      Were you at the end of the line? Are you a SOCAL GAS EMPLOYEE?
      Where do you get off making a comment that 69k is not an honorable middle class salary? You are so way off that it is laughable!!!!
      I am not a GASCO employee, but I’ll tell you that I research companies for my stock portfolio, and SEMPRA, which operates socal gas is one of the best companies in the UNITED STATES. It treats it’s employees very well. The benefits are top notch, and if you get a chance to work for them you’d know that.
      Too bad you have so much negative energy, you have to let it out on this company. Go take a nap. You’ll feel better in an hour.

      1. Ralph says:

        I’m sorry to let you down but I harbour no negativity towards the company
        I want to make as much as I can I don’t owe the company anything just my work
        The Company can make as much profit as they want or can ,It’s a business and I want to do the same that’s Capitalism why should I except anything less.

      2. Ron says:

        Ralph, you ARE entitled to make as much as you can, so if you are unhappy, then LEAVE.

        I am sure there are 1000’s of UNEMPLOYED that would love to work for such a good company and settle for ONLY $69,000/yr.

        Your WHINING is TYPICAL UNION B.S./ GREED !!!! And NOT on the backs of customers RISKING their credit records for a UNION cause.

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