02.26.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

Article Translation (de Volkskrant): EPO Employees Are Tired of Tyranny and Take to the Streets

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

de Volkskrant article

Summary: A somewhat belated translation of Dutch media coverage of the EPO staff protest in Rijswijk last month

THE EPO is alienating many people in Holland. All that these people have to do is switch on the television, pick up a newspaper, or read some blogs/news sites online. Petra Kramer has thankfully offered help with translation of Dutch articles about the EPO. One of these articles is a month old, but we never got a translation of it before, so here it goes:

EPO Employees are tired of tyranny and take to the streets

Report: Employees European Patent Office to the streets

Five suicides in three years, colleagues collapse: employees of the European Patent Organisation, tired of the tyrannical leadership – “They have no compassion – take to the streets.

“Elisabeth, Ion, Malika, Laurent, Jésus.” A British employee of the European Patent Office in Rijswijk has written the names of five suspended or be it sacked colleagues on his T-shirt. With several hundred colleagues, he demonstrates in front of the Hague Peace Palace on a Thursday afternoon. “My name does not matter, it’s too dangerous to mention.”

For some time a high rising conflict has been festering between the staff and the top of the European Patent Office, the international organization with seven thousand employees which assesses the patent requests for 38 European countries. Their boss, the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli, imposed the deterioration of working conditions from his office in Munich so claims the accusation.

The specific reason for the demonstration was the dismissal of two colleagues and the demotion of a third party in Munich. One of those affected is the department chair of the Suepo union in Munich, the Dutch Elizabeth Hardon. Last week, all 1,300 employees in Munich took to the streets yesterday 900 of the 2,700 workers from Rijswijk demonstrated in the Hague embassy district.

“I want my rights back,” it says on a banner. On a T-shirt that says “I support my suspended colleague” ‘suspended’ is crossed out with pencil and replaced by” fired !!! “.

“It’s a vendetta between top management and the unions,” a protester analyses during the protest march of the French to the German embassy and back. “There are dismissed colleagues and some of their pension will be retained.” Those who are critical of or working for the federal expect reprisals. Last year we found that executives of the union are monitored by investigators of the controversial British research firm Control Risks.

The otherwise quiet embassy district is overwhelmed by whistle-blowing protestors. Many protesters wear earplugs. A German ambassador is there to receive the petition. A German worker: “Because of the the international status we do not know where to file our complaint. Should we do it at the House of Representatives? At minister Ascher? At the European Parliament? There is an external procedure for labour disputes but it takes eight years.”

The last three years there were five suicides among staff, two of them in Rijswijk. An employee took his own life on the last day of his summer vacation. Before that another employee jumped of the seventh floor. Labour inspection was not allowed to investigate.

“As an international organization we are outside the legal framework,” the British patent expert explains. “We may indeed refuse access to any inspection because we have immunity, but that does nnot mean we have to do it course.”

Among the staff in Rijswijk turmoil has grown after a critical colleague succumbed to the pressure on Friday. “He collapsed in the cafeteria and had to be transported by ambulance. But the next week he had to immediately explain himself, “says an Italian. “They have no compassion.”

Appointing volunteers

Next week, CEO Battistelli will visit the Netherlands. He wants to talk with a delegation of the staff, so say several protesters, but no one dares. “Now his department is appointing volunteers,” sneers a Spaniard. “Call it anything but voluntary.”

The German worker, who works in Rijswijk for years, pointing to him: ‘Surely three-quarters of these people have a doctorate, but we are afraid to go on the street. That’s ridiculous. It’s like North Korea. ”

After a half an hour the buses return to the office in Rijswijk. Hundreds of colleagues who did not dare to demonstrate are waiting for them. “There is a lot of fatalism. Many colleagues say that we have already lost the battle, “says a Frenchman. “They are afraid to put their head on the chopping block.”

Petra Kramer‘s note on the above, due to the stubborn paywall, was this: “Human corrected machine translation of http://www.volkskrant.nl/binnenland/medewerkers-europese-octrooi-organisatie-zijn-tirannie-beu-en-gaan-de-straat-op~a4234211/ Paywalled, but if you don’t have any cookies from that site it should be accessible for free.”

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day



  2. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”



  3. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  5. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"



  6. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.



  7. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software



  8. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.



  9. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work



  10. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it



  11. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day



  12. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype



  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023



  14. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell



  15. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage



  16. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023



  18. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)



  19. This is What the Microsoft-Sponsored Media Has Been Hyping Up for Weeks (Ahead of Microsoft Layoffs)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  20. [Meme] António Campinos Wants to Be F***ing President Until 2028

    António Campinos insists he will be EPO President for 10 years, i.e. even longer than Benoît Battistelli (despite having appalling approval rates from staff)



  21. European Patent Office Staff Losing Hope

    The EPO’s management with its shallow campaign of obfuscation (pretending to protect children or some other nonsense) is not fooling patent examiners, who have grown tired and whose representatives say “the administration shows no intention of involving the staff representation in the drafting of the consultant’s mandate” (like in Sirius ‘Open Source’ where technical staff is ignored completely for misguided proposals to pass in the dark)



  22. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 26, 2023



  23. Sirius Relegated/Demoted/Destined Itself to Technical Hell by Refusing to Listen to the Technical Staff (Which Wanted to Stay With Asterisk/Free Software)

    In my final year at Sirius ‘Open Source’ communication systems had already become chaotic; there were too many dysfunctional tools, a lack of instructions, a lack of coordination and the proposed ‘solution’ (this past October) was just more complexity and red tape



  24. Geminispace Approaching Another Growth Milestone (2,300 Active Capsules)

    The expansion of Geminispace is worth noting again because another milestone is approached, flirted with, or will be surpassed this coming weekend



  25. [Meme] Cannot Get a Phone to Work... in 2022

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ wasted hours of workers’ time just testing the phone after it had moved to a defective system of Google (proprietary); instead of a rollback (back to Asterisk) the company doubled down on the faulty system and the phones still didn’t work properly, resulting in missing calls and angst (the company just blamed the workers who all along rejected this new system)



  26. [Meme] Modern Phones

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is mistaking “modern” for better; insecurity and a lack of tech savvy typically leads to that



  27. The ISO Delusion: Sirius Corporation Demonstrates a Lack of Understanding of Security and Privacy

    Sirius ‘Open Source’, emboldened by ISO ‘paperwork’ (certification), lost sight of what it truly takes to run a business securely, mistaking worthless gadgets for “advancement” while compelling staff to sign a new contract in a hurry (prior contract-signing scandals notwithstanding)



  28. Links 26/01/2023: LibreOffice 7.4.5 and Ubuntu Pro Offers

    Links for the day



  29. Links 26/01/2023: GNU poke 3.0 and PipeWire 0.3.65

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 25, 2023


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts