The GMB has hit back at the British Beer and Pub Association’s (BBPA) threat to obtain an injunction against the union if it continues to tell tied licensees that they are “immune” from legal action, even if they break their contract.
The GMB has been seeking to reassure licensees that they will be legally protected from facing sanctions by the pub companies if they take industrial action in protest at the tie.
In a letter sent to the union this week, BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds told GMB general secretary that its advice to licensees was “quite simply misleading and wrong” and that if it did not stop, the BBPA would seek an injunction to prevent the GMB for “inducing” breaches of contract.
But the GMB, whose representatives have met pubs minister John Healey at the House of Commons, said the letter was a “crude attempt” to stop the GMB standing up for licensees.
It added that it woulcd continue to lobby for a £12,000 cut in beer prices to tied licensees - the extra money that it claims tied licensees pay annually for their beer.
Paul Kenny said in a statement: “This letter from BBPA to GMB is an example of bullying from property companies that have for years got away with bullying and harassing their tied tenants. BBPA have picked the wrong organization to bully. GMB will stand for the legal rights of their tenants. GMB is already dealing with a number of BBPA members through the courts, resisting evictions, unfair claims for debts and misuse of pubco contract powers. We will continue to do so. This is a crude attempt to stop GMB standing up for tenants. It will fail.”
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