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12.08.15

Chairman of the Administrative Council Failed to Stop Suspension (and Potential Firing) of EPO Staff Representatives

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When passivity implies cooperation if not complicity…

Chairman of the Administrative Council Jesper Kongstad
Photo credit: DKPTO at Flickr

Summary: A new document serves to show that the body capable of firing people inside of Team Battistelli failed to prevent gross and unprecedented union-busting actions

Jesper Kongstad, the Chairman of the Administrative Council (AC), was apparently contacted days before the suspension of staff representatives, based on new information which was leaked to us (definitely not by any of the persons involved). According to this, days (almost one week) before the suspension, Kongstad had the capacity to intervene, but he did not.

Here is a letter send to Kongstad on the 11th of November, 2015.

To:
Jesper Kongstad
Chairman of the Administrative Council
[E-mail redacted]

Further investigations of staff representatives and/or union executives

Dear Mr Kongstad,

We take note of your intention to have “the staff voice being heard in the social study”. However, we remind you that so far the exercise of “renewed social dialogue” has been severely compromised by investigations launched by the Administration, in particular of late by PD4.3 (Human Resources), against staff representatives and union officials.

We deplore that further, new threats have been issued very recently by PD4.3 targeting staff representatives and union officials (see annexes 1-4). Although the allegations are once again regarded as unfounded (e.g. see reply in annex 5-6), we note that these threats appear to be synchronized with the announcement from the AC (in their October meeting) that they intend to reopen discussions with the staff representation including the unions. In our opinion, this clearly demonstrates that Mr. Battistelli has a different agenda and is sabotaging with intent any kind of possible rapprochement and progress towards a renewed social dialogue. Consequently, our position on further talks – as expressed in our letter to you on 9 June 2015 (su15228cl) – remains the same.

We therefore request you and the Council once more to order the Office to cease and desist from such intimidating actions, and this to be a prerequisite before further talks on union recognition or other matters pertaining to the current social conflict can take place.

As long as staff representatives and/or union officials are subjected to such baseless, obscure and fabricated attacks we consider that the necessary framework to conduct frank and meaningful negotiations is not provided.

Yours sincerely,

[Redacted]

We now know that the EPO promotes aggressive staff and stomps on the rule of law in an effort to crush these staff representatives. Can Kongstad not see what’s going on?

“There’s a reason why the EPO wants to keep its so-called ‘investigations’ secret. They’re not really investigations but personal attacks or union-busting actions.”To quote this one new comment, the EPO’s “scapegoats are questioned by the secret police without giving them information [...] akin to a novel by Kafka.” Another person takes note (in an earlier comment) of “Propaganda organised via the spoiling of 880.000 Eur of applicant’s money…” (alluding to this leak)

The discussion in IP Kat is in itself quite revealing. People inside and outside the organisation expect a collapse and the above actions, which the AC just let be, contribute to that collapse. Does Kongstad want his employer (further up above EPO) to collapse? It’s not low-level staff that sabotages the EPO, it’s the high-level management.

As shown here the other day, the EPO now practices an imperialistic approach of divide and rule by insisting on secrecy and gagging its victims (or scapegoats) in isolation. There’s a reason why the EPO wants to keep its so-called ‘investigations’ secret. They’re not really investigations but personal attacks or union-busting actions. People who support the busting of unions are on the wrong side of history.

“Duty is what one expects from others.”

Oscar Wilde

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A Single Comment

  1. Dr.Guinness said,

    December 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Gravatar

    In January 2014 Jesper Kongstad gave an interview (http://www.suepo.org/public/news/ex11001cp.pdf ) with the following remarkable statements:
    ¨A more personal goal for me is that working with the new President [Benoît Battistelli = BB] of the Office, we will be able to create a much closer cooperation between the AC and the management of the Office, between the AC and staff, and indirectly between management and staff, which is within the responsibility of the President. I see it as an important aim to reduce the level of conflict by means of transparency.
    Ultimately, by strengthening cooperation, the goal is to make the organisation better at addressing and solving the challenges facing our European users.¨

    In my opinion a much too close ¨cooperation¨ between the AC and the management of the Office has been created. Now Jesper Kongstad is ¨his masters [BB´s] voice¨ and accepts that the management shows no respect for people and laws. The ¨team Battistelli¨ does not seem to be bound by any law at all. Not the Convention, no national laws, no human rights, not the general principles of law protected by the Community legal order. Jesper Kongstad wanted also closer cooperation between the AC and staff. This cooperation is now so far that when the staff writes letters to the AC they do not get an answer. Further the activities of the Investigation Unit (IU), the external company ControlRisks and the persistent attacks on staff representatives, culminating in the suspension of and disciplinary procedures against 3 Union officials in Munich are tolerated by the AC with Jesper Kongstad as Chairman. Is that ¨a closer cooperation between the AC and staff¨?

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