Latest government advice over fuel tanker drivers
He suggested that health and safety issues could be discussed at a reconvened meeting of an industry forum which met last year.
any spare jerry cans with petrol to prepare for the impact of any action, even though Unite hasn't called any strikes yet.
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Energy Secretary Ed Davey has written to Unite asking the union to get round the table with the haulage companies, and suggesting the use of Acas.
A Government minister today warned that lives would be at stake if fuel tanker drivers go ahead with a threatened strike as contingency plans were being drawn up to deal with any walkout.
"If there is an opportunity to top up your tank if a strike is potentially on the way, then it is a sensible thing if you are able to do that."
Speaking outside the Cabinet Office in Whitehall, where the Prime Minister will chair a meeting later today on contingency plans, Mr Maude said there was no need for anyone to "rush" Nike Air Force 1 High 07 Black
Mr Maude said a "couple of hundred" military tanker crews would be trained to cover for striking tanker drivers in a bid to maintain supplies to garages as well as hospitals and schools.
"To the British people themselves I would say look, there is no imminent strike.
"I absolutely do not want to raise the temperature on this any more than is necessary," he said.
The Ministry of Defence said using military personnel was "in discussion" across government. A Nike Air Force 1 Black Low Tumblr spokesman said: "There is a possibility that military personnel might be required but we don't know yet whether that will be the case."
Mr Maude said he wasn't sure what the dispute was about, suggesting it was part of Mr McCluskey's "grand plan" to grind the country to a halt.
Labour leader Ed Miliband, speaking during a visit to the Midlands, said: "A strike has got to be avoided and the way a strike is avoided is by both sides having the negotiation that we need.
"I do not want a strike to take place, I hope the talks will be successful.
"He has already threatened to have a strike during the Olympics this is part of his plan. I hope Ed Miliband (Labour leader) will face up to his responsibilities and condemn the strike called by the union which is the biggest donor to the Labour party.
Workers in five of seven companies involved in the row over terms and conditions and safety standards have voted in favour of strikes, raising the threat of walkouts over the Easter weekend, when millions of families will take to the road for the first major holiday of the year.
Unite will have to give seven days' notice of any walkouts, but the talks are likely be held soon at the conciliation service Acas in a bid to avert stoppages.
"There are lives at risk if this goes ahead as well as massive inconvenience."
Oil company Esso also said motorists should stick to their normal buying patterns.
"We are establishing contact with all the parties involved in this dispute and will be looking to see whether we can enable an Acas process to allow the possibility of some form of dialogue to start."
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude suggested that drivers should fill up any spare jerry cans with petrol even though motoring organisations and energy firms have urged people not to panic buy.
would have to give seven days notice of any strike so there is no need to to queue to buy petrol.
But he advised people to fill up Nike Air Force 1 Low Blue Legend
Mr Cameron later denied he was trying to "raise the temperature" in the dispute.
"But in government you always have to prepare for any eventuality.
The AA said today there was plenty of fuel to go round and the situation will only deteriorate if motorists rush unnecessarily to filling stations.
He told a press conference in Downing Street that the Government was delivering a "very calm, very sensible" message but there was "absolutely no justification" for a strike.
He also attacked the unite union and its leader Len McCluskey for threatening industrial action, accusing the union of being "irresponsible."
to a petrol station.
"The British people would expect that.
An Acas spokesman said: "We welcome the minister's suggestion about the parties responding positively to an invitation to come in to Acas.
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