GMB: pubco tenants interests too disparate for industrial action

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gmb, Pint, Pint glass

GMB: high rents and the bere tie to blame for increases in price of a pint
GMB: high rents and the bere tie to blame for increases in price of a pint
Trade Union the GMB claims the interests of tied tenants are “too disparate” for them to unite and take industrial action against pubcos — plus tenants fear the power of the pubcos.

Over 18 months ago, the GMB had threatened to organise industrial action, starting with a mass witch-off of Brulines equipment, but no action has ever emerged.

Last week, the GMB came under fire from Publican’s Morning Advertiser editor The PMA Team for not delivering on its promises. “Throughout early 2010, the union was promising lessees far more than it could deliver within the law,” said Charity.

“Unforgivably, it was encouraging lessees to think about taking action that would have ended up in possible forfeiture of their leases.

“Its not known how many tenants paid to join the GMB on the back of its big claims.

“But for those that did, there’s a case for asking for your money back.”

GMB national organiser Paul Maloney hit back, claiming that tenants were subject to a “diet of partisan and biased views from opinion formers in the industry”.

He said: “The interests of the tied tenants as directed workers currently appear too disparate for them to unite to take lawful action to stop the decline in the pub trade as the ongoing recession in consumer spending makes things worse for them.

“Tenants fear the power of the pubcos.”

He added: “Government will have to be forced to take action on the disaster for communities and tied tenant that followed the Beer Orders. Jobs are being lost daily.

“Political action is needed to introduce a free market in the pub trade. That was the intention of the Beer Orders. GMB with our tied tenant members will campaign at constituency level to secure support for this policy.”

Beer price hike

It comes as the GMB claims that high pubco rents and the beer tie are to blame for an above inflationary and tax increase rise in the price of a pint of beer — so says the GMB trade union.

The GMB said the average price of a pint of lager for 2011 was now £3.09 — 80p more than if it had risen by inflation and like-for-like tax rises since 1987. Ale has risen 65p a pint above that level on the same basis.

“Local pubs owned by property companies have been priced out of the market and widespread pub closures have resulted particularly in working class areas in Britain,” said Maloney.

However, a spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association said: "This analysis doesn’t really stack up.

"Looking at inflation, since 1987 the price of on-trade beer has risen by exactly the same rate as inflation in the service sector — by 204%. A lot of this increase will be accounted for in tax rises which the trade has had to absorb — so margins in the sector have been severely squeezed.

"Talk of monopoly pricing doesn’t reflect reality. Our own data shows that free trade beer prices are on average, slightly higher than in the leased tenanted sector, and the OFT has ruled that there is effective competition."

Related topics: Property law, Legislation

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