Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fair Pint publishes BBPA agreement

5059. Such uncertainty in the industry is to be expected; the pub trade is in a period of great flux and change. Ideally mediation would have achieved concord across the industry, instead it has condensed the trade into polar opposite camps: broadly pro tie bodies in one and broadly anti tie bodies in the other. This is more consolidation of opinion in the pub trade than ever and the coming together of eight tenant, trade and consumer bodies in the creation of IPC is a giant step in a positive direction for the pub sector which even six months ago was not conceivable.

For the first time in IPC pubcos face credible opposition by a body that also is strong enough to stand up to them and win the debate. Pubcos are not used to being stood up to and BBPA's dreadful mismanagement of the current situation reflects that.

Bob, the whole thing is certainly a mess but when, in memory, was it not a dreadful mess anyway? The mess has been coming to a head for far too long and here we are.

The visible consolidation happening in the pub trade now is in the main a positive symptom of mediation's failure and a largely unforeseen success coming out of the failed process..

IPC's creation signifies that various bodies whose viewpoint wavered have had their vision focused by mediation and are able and prepared to stand ground against pubcos without fear of retribution. This bodes well for the future of the industry... and will lead to agreements across the trade in some form whether voluntarily imposed or forced by competition authorities and legislation.

Direct action in the form of Pub Revolution is another symptom of structural, endemic problems in the industry which have been comprehensively ignored to the detriment of everyone who is not a pubco. That thousands of individual licensees should come together to provide strength in numbers is hugely significant but how else could it be done without the backing of a body as strong and experienced in direct action as GMB?

Pub Revolution have taken a responsible mature step in working with GMB. The GMB stands for the rights of individuals, whether employees or self employed, to expect and receive fair treatment at the hands of powerful corporate bodies who tend to take advantage of their position knowingly or otherwise. Without such joint working the individuals making up Pub Revolution would be totally exposed to being picked off one by one by recalcitrant landlords. Together they have right on their side and, just possibly, enough might to make a huge positive impact on the future of the pub trade.

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