GMB Welcomes Support For Community Pubs

20 Mar 2010

Paul Kenny GMB General Secretary said “Pub licensees need help right now to stop pubs going bust. Any support like this for licensees is really important. The position is desperate for many publicans. Not until there is a root and branch change in the structure of ownership will licensees get a fair deal and customers get reasonable prices. The relationship and control from pubco to customers is Dickensian and unfair to both licensees and customers alike. The tied tenants are one of the most exploited groups of workers in the land. The House of Commons Business and EnterpriseCommittee (BEC) found that two thirds of them earn less than £15,000 per annum for up to 60 hours per week, an hourly rate less than the national minimum wage.

The pub property owners refuse to acknowledge the economic problems that arise as a consequence of the wholesale prices they charge the tenants. GMB consider that the average tied lessee is being overcharged by pubcos by around £12,000 per annum, after higher “wet rents” and lower “dry rents” are factored into the equation. The OFT have said that the contractual issues that gives rise to this overcharging are matters to be dealt with in negotiations between pubcos and lessees.

GMB tied tenants lobbied Parliament this week to demand action on the abject failure of regulators and legislators to deal with the imposition by the City of an alien form of rentier capitalism on the pub sector which is draining around £1,500 million per annum out of the sector. This parasitic and decadent form of capitalism is needlessly exploiting the tied leaseess and ripping off customers and politician have to confront it to save Britain’s pubs.

It is time that politicians looked at the tax paid by the pubcos and their bondholders given the vast profits these people are making out of Britain’s pub licencees and their customers”