Soldiers On Standby To Cover Fuel Tanker Deliveries
Soldiers are on stand by to fill in for petrol tanker drivers who are threatening strike action next month.
Army and police are being lined up to ensure deliveries of fuel do not stop resulting in the same chaos that hit Tony Blair's government in 2000.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the government had learned the lessons of the past and stood ready to act if members of the Unite union walked out.
Maude said: "We are calling on the trade union Unite and the employers involved to work together to reach an agreement that will avert industrial action. Widespread strike action affecting fuel supply at our supermarkets, garages and airports could cause disruption across the country.
"The general public should not and must not suffer from this dispute and strike action is manifestly not the answer. Although we are pushing for an agreement, we have learned the lessons of the past and stand ready to act to minimise disruption to motorists, to industry and, in particular, to our emergency services, in the event of a strike."