SoCal Gas Company Reaches Deal

Southern Gas Co. has reached a tentative agreement with a union representing about 5,000 workers, averting a walkout that could have begun as early as Monday morning.

Mary Gutierrez of Utility Workers Union of America Local 132 says the deal includes a three-step wage increase totaling more than 10 percent and preserves employees' pension plans and sick time benefits.

The union last week authorized a strike that was to have started at midnight Monday.  The current contract was extended to Feb. 28 until the tentative agreement can be ratified.

The Gas Co., a unit of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, serves about 20.3 million customers in Southern California.

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