LONDON, June 2 /PRNewswire/ --

LONDON, June 2 /PRNewswire/ --

Unite, Britain's biggest union is urging the government to act to make pension schemes compulsory, as a survey of voters in key marginal seats reveals that action on pensions will influence their voting preferences in the next general election.

In a survey of constituents in the twenty most marginal Labour seats in the UK, conducted on behalf of Unite, half of those surveyed stated that action by a political party to protect occupational pension schemes would influence their voting intentions. 34% of voters in these critical constituencies have yet to decide which party best represents their interests.

The survey also revealed that 83% of respondents said they would support Government action to increase the spread of occupational pensions and 78% believed that pensions have not been high enough on the government's agenda.

65% believed that striking to protect their pension was justified and 55% reported that they would be prepared to take strike action to protect their own pension. 78% considered pensions to be an essential part of wages. The survey was conducted immediately following the high profile dispute with Ineos over pensions. The results of the survey indicates that the majority of the general public believed the action of Ineos workers was justifiable.

Derek Simpson, Unite Joint General secretary says,

"Pensions are an electoral issue and votes can be won or lost depending if Labour chooses to act or not to act. This survey reveals that Labour can win the next general election but only if they work hard to re-connect with working people's real concerns. In key marginal seats, voters say that protection and extension of occupational pensions would be an electoral asset. The CBI don't want it but they don't vote Labour anyway."

"Recently 1,200 workers at Ineos' petro-chemical site in Scotland took strike action over plans to end the final salary pension scheme for new entrants. Encouragingly voters overwhelmingly support workers taking action to protect their pension scheme and the majority are prepared to take strike action themselves. This is a clear indication that the public believed the action the Ineos workers took to protect their pension scheme was justifiable."

The survey also revealed that a significant 40% of respondents did not have an occupational pension scheme but 76% believed that employees should receive a defined benefit pension scheme.

Notes to editors

Vision Twentyone were commissioned to undertake a telephone survey of 1,100 members of the public who were of working age (sixteen to sixty-five), not self-employed and not a company director. The survey was based on a questionnaire and was equally distributed across the twenty most marginal Labour-held seats throughout the UK.

For more information contact: Ciaran Naidoo on +44(0)7768-931-315