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10.24.15

SUEPO Reiterates Call for Independent Mediation and “Doubts That There Can Ever be Social Peace With Mr Battistelli as President”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scorpion’s instincts

Tortoise and Scorpion
The Scorpion and the Frog

Summary: The staff union of the EPO (SUEPO) expresses its views on the bogus “Union recognition talks”, which seem to promote a false sense of trust and leave the union leaders ever more exposed to union-busting

AS we promised a couple of days ago, EPO coverage is going to increase in terms of pace and depth. Next week we intend to look deeper inside the institutional corruption and also the granting of patents that never should have been granted. In the mean time, over the weekend perhaps, we wish to organise the Wiki based on themes, in order to make it simpler to navigate. The uninitiated should be able to promptly appreciate just how abusive the EPO has become.

One of the longstanding issues at the EPO is that the management always attacks the messengers who ‘dare’ to question the decisions of management. They are too arrogant to accept constructive criticism and instead they try to crush any morsel of dissent, criticism, disobedience, or the simple act of unionising (which is perfectly legal and protected by European standards). “The road to social peace,” as SUEPO calls it, would require “high level, independent mediation.” Here they are stating:

Mr Battistelli and Mr Kongstad have hailed “Union recognition talks” as the solution to the social conflict in the Office. SUEPO was sceptical from the beginning, for several reasons. One is that the prior reforms that caused the current problems are explicitly excluded from the present and future discussions. Another very fundamental reason is that any agreement or contract is meaningless if it cannot be enforced. We have already seen Mr Battistelli violates even rules he himself established as soon as they no longer suit him, and invokes “immunity” in order to uphold illegal practices. Blind trust is therefore not an option. In this context the “Memorandum of understanding” proposed by Ms Bergot (PD43) is quite revealing. Quite early on it states that “The union officials shall be bound by the legal framework applicable by the EPO” – a framework that the President can unilaterally change as he sees fit. The ongoing accusations of (and investigations in) alleged harassment amongst SUEPO officials and staff representatives (!), apparently targeting the better-known SUEPO representatives, also show that Mr Battistelli is more interested in destroying SUEPO than in recognizing it.

Thus far Mr Battistelli has refused to take on board any opinions other than his own. He has notoriously refused to respect unanimous recommendations of the Internal Appeals Committee and of the Disciplinary Committee – if these were in favour of staff. He has repeatedly refused to accept findings of invalidity by the Medical Committee. By now SUEPO very much doubts that there can ever be social peace with Mr Battistelli as President. But if there could be a road to social peace, it would have to come through high level, independent mediation. SUEPO has repeatedly expressed its willingness to participate in a mediation process. Here we do so again.

Having watched this for well over a year, it seems abundantly clear that neither Battistelli nor Kongstad would be interested in ever recognising a staff union. Battistelli’s bulldog, Željko Topić, went as far as saying that “SUEPO has no standing in this office.” How can they ever pretend otherwise? As long as there is no acceptance of any sort of input from ‘low level’ staff (meaning, in the case of the EPO, highly technical people), there won’t be peace. It’s a shame that the management is too thick (or perhaps arrogant) to grasp this.

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A Single Comment

  1. Dr.Guinness said,

    October 24, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Gravatar

    I have been many times in Munich at the German Patent Office when the the EPO building near the river Isar was build. I had the pleasure to meet at a conference the first president of the EPO Johannes Bob van Benthem (1 November 1977 – 30 April 1985).Paul Braendli (1 May 1985 – 31 December 1995) was so nice to invite me for a short talk when he started working at the EPO. Ingo Kober (1 January 1996 – 30 June 2004) and Alain Pompidou (1 July 2004 – 30 June 2007) but also
    Alison Brimelow (1 July 2007 – 30 June 2010) were presidents under which the EPO staff was seen as human capital. Ofcourse the SUEPO did not agree with everything the president and AC decided, however a solution was always found and there was in daily life a friendly cooperation of office and union. I remember protests of the union on the first floor of the isarbuilding before the start of an Administrating Counsil meeting. Now the protestors were denied the right to protest on the EPO’s office grounds by management. SUEPO said the EPO’s decision was “utterly irresponsible”. Staff and police ended up on the road in close proximity to moving traffic. Now we have as ¨managers¨
    president Benoît Battistelli (from 1 July 2010) and his ¨inner circle of the INPI¨ but also Mr Kongstad as chaiman of the AC. Everything changed. Benoît Battistelli needs body guards now. None of the former presidents needed them. He seems to be afraid that something could happen to him or his french inner circle. The Administrative Council under chairman Mr Kongstad has now not a controlling function anymore but is in most of the cases ¨his masters- Benoit Battistelli´s- voice¨. The EPO management forgot that the staff is the most important of the office: the staff members, an in particular the
    examiners, are the ¨human capital¨ of the EPO. Why the management gets higher salaries now for this bad low level management?
    Benoit Battistelli is treating staff now like cattle (animals) and trying to control them in every aspect of life, including activities within a union (SUEPO), which are perfectly legal and protected by European laws. SUEPO Reiterates Call for Independent Mediation and “Doubts That There Can Ever be Social Peace With Mr Battistelli as President”. I fully agree. But I can also not imagin Mr Kongstad as a replacement for BB (Battistelli) as a president because he sold his sole entirely to BB. He made the AC to a puppet theatre of BB.

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