"Over half" of pub landlords are earning less than £15,000 per year because they are "tied in" to a relationship with a major pub company, according to the shadow minister for pubs.
Labour's Toby Perkins spoke to Daybreak ahead of an opposition debate calling on the Government to do more to protect pubs and their landlords.
"There has been a number of studies suggesting that people who have a pub with one of the big pub companies are going to be earning less than minimum wage.
"Over half of them earn less than minimum wage - and doing long, long hours. So it is really a major issue for those people and it is a big issue for the communities that see those pubs go under."
Landlords are permanently calling time at their bar because their profits are squeezed by "costly rents and high beer prices", an expert has said.
Pubs are closing as a result of big pub companies squeezing the profits of publicans with costly rents and high beer prices.
We are backing the Government's plans to act, but words and proposals need to be translated into urgent action via the introduction of a statutory code, Pubs Watchdog, a guest beer right and a market rent only option for licensees tied to the large pub companies.
The Government need to speed up measures aimed to protect pubs and their landlords after it emerged 26 a week are closing down, Labour have said.
They plan to use an opposition day debate to urge the Coalition to introduce a statutory code to protect landlords from exploitation at the hands of large companies.
Legislation was drawn up last year but kicked into the long grass to consider the huge number of responses the proposed laws received.
Shadow pubs minister Toby Perkins said: "A broad coalition including Camra, business organisations and trade unions are backing a new statutory code with teeth."
He continued: "A year ago, in response to pressure from campaigners and Labour, ministers said they'd take action but 12 months later they've failed to do so."
Workers who deliver beer, lager and soft drinks to pubs, clubs - and Downing Street - will stage a 24-hour strike tomorrow in a row over jobs.
Unite said the walkout by its members at Kuehne + Nagel Drinks Logistics (KNDL) from 10am would cause "significant disruption" to thousands of sites.
Pubs, clubs, airports, theatres, mainline railway stations, football grounds and Parliament will all be hit, said Unite.
KNDL said it had contingency plans and would seek to minimise disruption to deliveries.
The firm added it had been consulting employees for a number of years over the need to adapt its business model.
Picket lines will be mounted at depots across the country.
In an article for ITV News, the chairman of JD Wetherspoon has hit back at critics over the opening of a pub at a motorway services area.Read the full story ›
After the announcement that JD Wetherspoon is set to open its first pub at a motorway service station, ITV News viewers have been giving their views on the issue on our Facebook page:
That's just enticing drivers to drink ... it's wrong.
Finally a move that puts responsibility back in our hands!
They serve great value meals for families, it's our responsibility to not drink and drive. If you can't walk into a pub without being tempted into drinking then you shouldn't be driving at all!
Pathetic idea! Yeah the food's ok but really ... [a] pub on a motorway [is] not a great idea is it.
The road safety charity Brake has said that the opening of the first motorway pub is "desperately worrying" as it could pose a "potentially deadly temptation to drivers".
Spokesperson Richard Coteau said: "There is widespread misunderstanding about the fact that even a small amount of alcohol has a significant impact on your ability to drive safely, so it’s desperately worrying that some drivers might think it’s okay to stop off for a quick drink on their way home."
"Research is clear that just one drink inflates your crash risk. That’s why our advice to drivers is if you are driving, don't drink any amount of alcohol – not a drop," he added.
The chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA), which brings together organisations focussed on tackling alcohol misuse, has condemned plans for the first Wetherspoon motorway pub:
To reduce alcohol-related harm, we have to reduce its availability, not increase it. Opening a bar at a service station sends out completely the wrong message if we are trying to prevent harm from alcohol-related traffic accidents.
The AHA believes that a fundamental review of licensing law is required which focuses on controlling the availability of alcohol and reducing alcohol-related harm.
Public health should be a licensing objective in its own right, taking into consideration the total number of premises selling alcohol, of all kinds, and the impact of this provision on the health and wellbeing of the local population.
The nation's first Wetherspoon motorway pub will open at the Extra service station on the M40 near Beaconsfield, around four miles outside the capital's M25 ring road.
Extra's website describes it as "one of the newest and most attractive Motorway Service Areas in Europe".
The £2 million development has been given the go-ahead by Thames Valley Police and South Bucks District Council.
As part of its application, JD Wetherspoon said the pub would display notices reminding customers of the dangers of drink-driving, although a spokesman said bar staff would not ask customers whether they were driving.