12.17.15

EPO Attacks Staff Representatives’ Right to Work Just One Week Before Christmas

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Reports from the ground in Berlin, mostly those relating to the suspension of staff representatives from SUEPO, the most popular union whose existence predates even the EPO itself

Last month we showed how the EPO had made sadistic threats to take Christmas away from slower workers. This is clearly inappropriate given the laws in Europe, let alone the stress that examiners are already subjected to. We’ve come to expect this kind of behaviour from management at the EPO, having already seen what it did a year ago just ahead of Christmas.

“Last month we showed how the EPO had made sadistic threats to take Christmas away from slower workers.”Yesterday we learned that “Ms Hardon, Ms. Weaver and Mr. Brumme’s disciplinary hearings took place respectively last Thursday, Yesterday and TODAY” (that’s the day before yesterday and yesterday).

As we noted two nights ago, EPO protests had spread to Berlin where there were “provenly over 120 [people who] were counted (at one specific time of the demonstration),” according to one source. Here are some banners used during this demonstration:

EPA

SUEPO reps

Maas

There was also a banner saying “SUEPO”, which can be seen in the photo that we published the other night.

One person asked: “Are patent attorneys slowly “waking up and smelling the coffee?””

This was said in reference to the AIPPI and EPI letters. There are some patent law firms (at least two prominent ones) that wrote critically about the EPO in recent days. Are we seeing the final shift or defection away from the EPO’s management? Perhaps a defection to the likes of SUEPO? The number of people joining SUEPO is said to have soared recently, so the EPO’s goons are now bullying (with lawyers) those who sign up new members while the goon in chief (with history), Željko Topić, threats staff that ‘dares’ to join (deterrence tactics). If this isn’t union-busting action, what is?

“There are some patent law firms (at least two prominent ones) that wrote critically about the EPO in recent days.”The Berlin protest was the fifth EPO protest (Office-wide) in just 4 weeks and “after the demo in Berlin,” one person wrote, a “lawyer met high-ranked delegation of the German Ministry of Justice.” Communication about these issues appears to be improving, despite character assassination attempts.

“This event was organised,” we’ve learned, “as a follow up of Munich demonstration that took place last Thursday. On the 17.11, 2000 colleagues showed up despite the very short notice (about 2h advance warning). Another demonstration took place on the 4th of December, again in front of the Isar building. According to the police even more people turned up than the week before. On last Thursday’s March, an estimated 1500 people marched over the Hacker Brücke and finished in front of the Bavarian Ministry of Justice.

“As a fifth demonstration on the streets in 4 weeks (three above in Munich and one on the 1.12 in The Hague), in Berlin an estimated 130 staff gathered peacefully in front of the EPO entrance: while these figures may seem modest in absolute terms, this represents by far more than half of the 260 employees present on the day in this small duty station, let alone considering the fact that line managers and several services have explicit Vice-Presidential instructions that it is a “requirement of management not to a end demonstrations”.”

“Are we seeing the final shift or defection away from the EPO’s management? Perhaps a defection to the likes of SUEPO?”This is also true when it comes to the petition circulated in support of SUEPO representatives.

‘In presence of SUEPO Central Lawyer,” we’ve learned, “and protected by two (slightly amused) police officers, the participants held during one hour large banners calling upon the German Ministry of Justice and the German institutions to intervene in the matter and protect EU citizens on German (and EU) Soil.

“If this isn’t union-busting action, what is?”“At the German Ministry of Justice in Berlin, despite the short 1 week notice,” the SUEPO Central Lawyer “was subsequently received by a high ranked delegation of the Ministry of justice.

“During the 30 minutes meeting, the SUEPO Lawyer had ample opportunity to hand out the letter drafted on behalf of SUEPO and expose to the small German team the key issues regarding the breach of fundamental rights, in essence reiterating calls made in the past (like in the public letter dated 20.06.15 by William Bourdon, Prof. Liesbeth Zegveld, Javier Ledesma and Alexander Holtz).”

Later today we want to share with readers some more details that we’ve got regarding these overt union-busting actions. We hope that more people will be able to see what is really going on inside the EPO. We generally find that there is too little (if any) information about it anywhere on the Web and this kind of information scarcity (induced by threats by the EPO’s goons) is intended to prevent justice. Only in transparency and under public scrutiny can true justice be served.

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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2015/12/17/berlin-support-for-suepo/

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