Benoît Battistelli’s Office Accused of Institutional Harassment Against EPO Staff in New Letter to the Administrative Council, Calling for External Investigation
Summary: A probe by an external and independent entity is sought with the aim of looking into systematic harassment against EPO employees who simply ‘dare’ to point out gross violations by their managers; staff protests at EPO headquarters in the Netherlands and Germany are scheduled
Solicitors, who are expensive and usually non-technical, appear to have entered the zone now that Battistelli’s repressive leadership resorts to union-busting, SLAPP, censorship, and even illegal terminations of staff which is outside the sphere of control of the EPO. To think that people who do this are allowed to walk free (with private bodyguards) into publicly-funded offices in Europe is to basically accept that Europe is no better than China or Russia when it comes to human rights.
The EPO's internal investigation was a sham (the oversight is in bed with the subject of oversight), so outsiders need to objectively assess the situation and rationalise corrective action, however difficult this can be, at least politically.
Attacks (in the form of grilling/interrogations) against Elizabeth Hardon from SUEPO turned out to have had an enormous personal toll (not just financially but health too). It was gone for a very long time in an effort to silence/censor her using threats (not just termination but also legal action/s). We are now learning that Hardon is making a complaint of harassment against Benoît Battistelli et al, on behalf of or aided by her representatives. Here is what we have so far (no plain text yet, but it should be self-explanatory we hope):
SUEPO has meanwhile come out with a more formal plan for staff demonstrations next week, stating at some stage on Friday (at the public site of SUEPO) the following (along with a schedule):
During the coming meeting of the Administrative Council (13/14 October) staff of the European Patent Office will demonstrate in The Netherlands and Germany.
In The Netherlands EPO staff will demonstrate on Tuesday 13 October at 12.00h in front of the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs in The Hague (Parnassusplein 5, next to the Central Station).
We request an urgent labour inspection of the EPO by the Dutch Arbeidsinpectie in conformity with the Article 20 of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities (PPI) of the EPOrg.
In Germany EPO staff will demonstrate on Wednesday 14 October at 13.00h in front of the EPO Isar building in Munich (Bob-van-Benthem-Platz 1).
According to SUEPO, the EPO has been transformed into a totalitarian state where the rights of staff and of those who defend the rights of staff – or simply adhere to common sense – are being crushed to the benefit of a few, mainly French, who are making rocket careers.
The EPO is a civil service organisation and not a self-service organisation.
We wish to remind the Council delegates and the governments of the Member States that they are responsible for the European Patent Organisation, its mission and its staff.
“Merpel is curious to know why the @EPOorg President is apparently so anxious to send the Boards of Appeal into exile,” IP Kat wrote, whereas the President of the FFII said: “Let’s crowdfund legal support of poor Examiners against the rich EPO” (linking to Techrights).
Maybe it’s worth considering a fund-raiser for Hardon’s defence. A war on her rights should be treated as a war on the rights of all European citizens. It is a race to the bottom at the EPO these days, and it’s already at gutter level. █