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Semco Energy Gas Company Continues Operations During Work Stoppage

PORT HURON, Mich., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Negotiations between representatives of SEMCO ENERGY GAS COMPANY and Local 16201 of the United Steelworkers Union recently reached an impasse over economic issues, resulting in a work stoppage today by 42 union-represented employees in the Company's Holland, Niles and Three Rivers service areas in southwestern Michigan.

SEMCO ENERGY wishes to assure customers that the work stoppage will not adversely affect the Company's ability to provide safe and reliable natural gas service. The Company has sufficient qualified personnel to continue the operation of its natural gas distribution system and address any emergency situations that might arise. In an emergency, customers should contact the Company at 1-888-GAS-1-GAS (1-888-427-1427). For routine customer service inquires, customers may continue to contact the Company at 1-800-624-2019.

Lance Smotherman, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Administration, said, "These employees' wage rates have been the highest of all of the Company's bargaining units. Under the Company's last offer, they would remain the highest. The offer provides for a 10 percent wage increase over three years. We have also proposed that the employees continue to be covered, as they have been for many years, under the same benefit plans as the Company's salaried, management, and non-union workforce. The Union's insistence that it have the right to block changes to the plans during the term of the contract, a right it has never had, continues to be a sticking point in the negotiations."

George A. Schreiber, Jr., Company President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are disappointed that our offer has been rejected, especially in the face of the plant closings and layoffs being experienced by so many in Michigan.

"It is also important to mention that the Company has a responsibility to customers. Our customers are struggling with uncertainties surrounding Michigan's economic situation. They will ultimately pay for these wage and benefit costs. We are striving to resolve this situation as expeditiously as possible while endeavoring to ensure that our distribution system is operated safely and that we have balanced the needs of our customers and employees. We want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding during this time."

SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. distributes natural gas to more than 400,000 customers combined in Michigan, as SEMCO ENERGY GAS COMPANY, and in Alaska, as ENSTAR Natural Gas Company. It also owns and operates businesses involved in propane distribution, intrastate pipelines and natural gas storage in various regions of the United States.

SOURCE SEMCO ENERGY, Inc.

CONTACT: Timothy Lubbers, Director of Marketing & Corporate
Communications of SEMCO ENERGY, Inc., +1-810-887-4208

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding SEMCO Energy's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.

 
©2006 SEMCO ENERGY, Inc., All Rights Reserved.