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03.11.16

The European Patent Organisation’s Administrative Council Can Stop the Strike by Agreeing/Working to Reintegrate Staff Representatives and End Benoît Battistelli’s Witch-hunts

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hardon at protest
Credit: Kontrovers

Summary: The Central Staff Committee of the European Patent Office asks the Organisation to take steps against the unjust union-busting moves from Benoît Battistelli, who is eager to cover up his own abuses rather than address these

TWO days ago we wrote about next week's EPO protest and WIPR wrote about it too, noting that the “European Patent Office’s (EPO) largest staff union has called for a demonstration to coincide with the next meeting of the Administrative Council (AC) on March 16.

“The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) called for a demo yesterday, March 9, following a vote from staff members to take strike action.”

“The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) called for a demo yesterday, March 9, following a vote from staff members to take strike action.”
      –WIPR
We happen to know a little more about this protest and now seems like a good time to share some additional information.

Internal documents suggest that the Central Staff Committee is “being chosen by Staff as their interlocutor for the strike petition. Unfortunately so far no meaningful dialogue with the current management has been possible on the claims of the petition.”

“Clearly, this is meant as an “opportunity to deescalate” to be seized by the Administrative Council…”
      –Anonymous
For those who forgot what the petition stated, here it is as an image or as text.

“In the light of the overwhelming results,” says an anonymous person, the Committee “has sent a letter to the Chairman of the Administrative Council explaining the further steps regarding the voted industrial action.”

Someone sent us this letter, which we published the other day. “Clearly,” we learned, “this is meant as an “opportunity to deescalate” to be seized by the Administrative Council (AC):

  • Staff will not be satisfied by their representatives just “having a meeting” — a meeting being just an extra tool offered to achieve a goal. Rather staff will be convinced by concrete results.
  • This sign of good-will sent to the AC is made in the express expectation that concrete actions are decided at the next session of the AC on the claims made by Staff

It is increasingly being speculated that if Battistelli isn’t told to leave (or leaves of his own volition) later this month he will be replaced in June, which is when the AC will meet after next week.

“…urgently reintegrate the fired colleagues and immediately cease running investigations and disciplinary procedures against staff representatives.”
      –Anonymous
Commenting on “potential objective success criteria” (success meaning removal of the need for a strike): “Although not expressed, it seems obvious that the first claim of the petition represents a minimum breaking point for staff: Staff expect as a token of genuine change that some form of public instructions is given to the president to review his decision and urgently reintegrate the fired colleagues and immediately cease running investigations and disciplinary procedures against staff representatives.”

This isn’t entirely new. In fact, it’s right there in the petition and also in the B28's text. “Accordingly,” adds the above, the Central Staff Committee can decide on the next steps, e.g. a strike.

Jesper Kongstad, the successor of Battistelli in this position of his (Chairman), can become popular among Office staff by doing the just thing. Anyone can see that union-busting and mock trials just took place. This oughtn’t be tolerated anywhere in Europe.

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