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Tanker Drivers Set to Strike over Health and Safety Standards

Added: 28 Mar 2012 09:56 - Workplace Health and Safety

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has added fuel to the fire with his controversial comments about a potential strike by tanker drivers over the Easter weekend.

Fuel strikeUnite members are planning to strike over health and safety standards along with terms and conditions of employment, which could lead to the biggest fuel disruption since the year 2000.

ACAS, an independent conciliation service, invited leaders from Unite and fuel firms to attend talks in an attempt to avert the strike but as yet neither party has agreed to go ahead with negotiations.

Maude has angered members of the opposition by claiming that the planned strike could put lives at risk and urging drivers to stock up on extra fuel despite oil companies insisting that there is no need to panic buy fuel.

Labour has accused the current government of failing to take steps to stem the crisis when the opportunity to avoid a strike still exists.

Fuel companies involved in strike action over Health and Safety

Workers from seven of the five fuel companies involved voted in favour of striking in a recent poll and have threatened to walk out over the Easter Weekend, a time when use of fuel is at one of its highest points as families take to the road during the holiday.

The companies in question are responsible for more that 85% of the total fuel sold on garage forecourts.

Maude commented from London’s Cabinet Office, where David Cameron and other cabinet members are meeting later today to make contingencies in the event of a strike.

The Tory Minister explained that military crews would take over from tanker drivers in should the strike go ahead, which would help avert a fuel shortage crisis, but this has not been confirmed by the Ministry of Defence.

A spokesperson from Downing Street accused MP’s who are encouraging panic buying of being reckless and said that stocking up on fuel now could lead to a shortage before a strike occurs.

According to figures from the AA, on average people fill up their cars with petrol once every two weeks.

A spokesperson for the motoring organisation explained that if people purchase significantly more fuel in the three days leading up to a strike then a fuel shortage is inevitable.

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