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Page last updated at 06:27 GMT, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 07:27 UK

Tanker strike 'completely unnecessary'


The energy secretary has said strike action by petrol tanker drivers is "completely unnecessary" and that it "should not go ahead".

Ed Davey was speaking after tanker drivers delivering fuel to fuel forecourts across Britain voted in favour of a strike in a dispute over safety and work conditions.

Mr Davey said the union Unite have "not been clear what this strike is about" and are "behaving irresponsibly" and he called on the Labour leader Ed Miliband to condemn this strike action.

He said that they have "well developed contingency plans" such as a training programme in place for military personnel to take over from driving the tankers but he said that these measures "can't reduce the total impact of at strike and could be very damaging".

This could potentially threaten economic recovery," he added.

On the issue of cutting domestic fuel bills by getting consumers to club together he told the Today programme's Evan Davis that they are looking at a programme of collective purchasing where consumers would co-operate via charities or social enterprises who would negotiate better deals.

Mr Davey said it was hoped this would "rebalance the relationship between the big energy companies and their consumers".

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