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Major union backs big pubs campaign

Added: Tuesday, May 7th 2013


03 May 2013

Licensees Unite, part of Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has thrown its weight behind the ‘Fair deal for your local’ campaign, which launched this week. 

The ‘Fair deal for your local’ campaign aims to secure a better settlement for landlords, who rent licensed premises from large pub companies, often referred to as ‘PubCos’. 

Landlords who run pubs on this basis operate their own businesses, but are forced to buy beer from the pub company owners, in a ‘beer tie’ arrangement.  

This means that they can pay at least 50 per cent more for beer than a ‘free-of-tie’ publican. The landlords are also often forced to pay above market rents for premises and lack access to an independent adjudicator, if disputes arise. Inevitably, some of the additional costs related to these arrangements are passed on to the customer. 

The ‘Fair deal for your local’ campaign is being launched as the government carries out a consultation on this issue. In response to the ‘Pub Companies and Tenants: A government consultation’ document, members of the campaign are calling for ‘market rent only’, ‘free-of-tie’ options for landlords and freedom for licensees to use 'guest beers'.  

To introduce greater fairness to the current arrangement, campaigners are also calling from the introduction of a powerful code of practice and the appointment of an adjudicator to monitor the relationship between licensees and large pub companies. 

Paul Naylor, president of Licensees Unite, said: “Licensees Unite stands fully behind the ‘Fair deal for your local’ campaign. We all know the value of our local pub and the importance they play in promoting responsible drinking and community.  

“However, too many pubs are still closing every week and it’s high time we had a fair deal for licensees who, for years, have struggled to survive in the face of the conditions imposed on them by PubCos.

“These hard-pressed licensees must be given an option to pay an independently assessed market rent only. The government made a commitment that it would ensure that tied licensees have a level playing field with those ‘free-of-tie’.  These steps are the only way that this commitment can be delivered. Our members stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all licensees saying ‘It’s time for a fair deal for our locals.” 

For further information please contact Unite campaigns officer James Bevan on 07711347645 

  • More details on the campaign are available on the dedicated ‘Fair deal for your local’ campaign website
  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey. 
  • Licensees Unite is the biggest union in the pub sector representing about 10,000 licensees and is part of Unite, the union that represents a further 35,000 members in the breweries and beer delivery industry.