Publican members of the general trade union GMB have ruled out their involvement in a mediation process about the controversial beer tie.
The mediation process, originally initiated by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) which represents the Pubcos, was launched yesterday (9 July) to stave off an inquiry into the beer tie by the Office of Fair Trading.
It follows a House of Common's Business and Enterprise Select Committee report which called for an urgent investigation by the Competition Commission into the leased pub sector and the beer tie.
The report revealed that two-thirds of publicans earn less than £16,000 a year and highlighted the disparity of power between Pubcos and their tenants.
Paul Kenny, general secretary for the GMB, slammed the mediation exercise, calling it a "sham".
"It is part of a paper chase to hoodwink and sidetrack desperate publicans," he warned.
"Pubcos are part of the problem not the solution. They have spent years closing pubs and raking in profits when they should have been working with publicans. Now they want publicans to help them clean up their mess."
GMB members will instead push on with the union's industrial, political and organising campaign to end the beer tie to secure decent living for publicans.
The union has so far pledged to organise town meetings for local branches of publicans; provide legal advice for tenants facing charges from Pubcos and contest tenant evictions.
It will also step up lobbying in Westminster and Brussels to get the Competition Authorities to end the perceived abuse by Pubcos.
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By Emma White
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