Up to 25,000 ‘tied tenants’ in pubs across the UK could vote in a ballot in the New Year whether to take industrial action to force a drop in the amount of money they pay to pubcos.
The GMB union said firms were overcharging tenants to the tune of £12,000 and that it would fight for a reduction in payments to the pubcos of this amount.
It is said that seven large property companies are responsible for up to 25,000 tenant landlords and the GMB union claimed they were being charged up to double the wholesale price of beer.
GMB national officer Paul Maloney said: "In furtherance of the trade dispute in tied pubs, GMB will organise a nationwide official ballot in the New Year to seek a mandate for official industrial action by tied tenant members in the industry.
"The aim of the action by the tied tenants is to secure negotiation with pubcos to achieve very substantial cuts in wholesale prices and a resolution to a wide range of grievances experienced by the tied tenants at the hands of the pubcos middle managers and their agents."
Figures from an Office of Fair Trading suggest that running a tied pub costs on average £12,000 more than a free house. Union official argue pubcos are making huge profits and can afford to charge lower wholesale prices to landlords.
Related article:So you think you could run a pub