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Union warns jobs under threat as pub giant Stonegate issues profit warning

Thousands of pub workers are facing losing their jobs as pubs giant Stonegate issued a profit warning.

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Popworld, Wolverhampton

Stonegate has 300 pubs across the West Midlands, including the Slug and Lettuce and Popworld in Wolverhampton, and is owned by private equity firm TDR.

Union GMB has been a long critic of TDR warning about its viability for months and urging bosses to consider workers.

Stonegate has confirmed there is no guarantee it can continue as a going concern, as it struggles to refinance a £2.2bn debt.

Local Stonegate pubs include the Old Cross, Oldbury, The Royal Hotel and Market Tavern, Bilston, The Golden Cross, Wednesbury, The Princess, Stourbridge, The George Wallis, The Goose, Royal London, Wolverhampton.

GMB has written to Lian Byrne MP, chair of the Business and Trade Select Committee, asking him to recall TDR bosses in light of the profit warning.

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: "TDR bosses are private equity gamblers- playing fast and loose with people’s jobs and lives.

“When their risky ventures go wrong, they swan off to their next project, leaving workers and communities to pick up the pieces."

She added: “Now, hundreds of much loved pubs across the West Midlands are in serious danger of pulling their last pint.

“It’s a disgrace.”

Last week Stonegate's chief executive, David McDowall, admitted the trading climate was difficult for the hospitality sector.

He said: "We have been very clear that we continue to work towards achieving our long-term balance sheet goals, with the successful refinancing of a portion of our estate in December marking a significant strategic step towards this. Our performance gives me real confidence in the future and excitement in seeing our strategy come to fruition.

"With a summer of sport on the horizon, and the Euros and T20 World Cup fast approaching, we are looking forward to building on this momentum in the months ahead."