04.03.16

EPO Strike in 3.5 Days Effective in All Sites, Lots for EPO Staff to be Angry About

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stuff for staff of the EPO to be aware of

EPO strike banner

Summary: An outline of the strike at the European Patent Office (EPO), why it is happening, how EPO’s management attempted to derail it (even pro-actively), how the Administrative Council’s inaction contributed to it, and why this matters to Techrights

THIS was inevitably going to happen. The staff has had enough and it won’t tolerate it without sending out a strong message. For some context and background on this we suggest the following older articles of ours (sorted chronologically):

There are a few more articles on this topic, but the above are linked to them one way or another. It is important to also remember that EPO Vice-President Željko Topić formally weakened the right to strike last year, threatening financial retaliation against those who go on strike. He must be thinking that Eponia is as lawless as his own/home country; well, Eponia is technically worse in many ways. It’s like a kingdom with a king — one who can also break his own rules whenever he feels like it and ignores his sort of 'judges' (because a king is a king, Sun King).

The strike images are apparently being circulated this weekend* and earlier today (Sunday) SUEPO posted the following text in its public pages:

One-day Office-wide strike on 7 April 2016

No essential progress has been made on staff’s claims as expressed in the call for strike entitled “Lawfulness at the EPO” that was sent to the President on 10 February 2016. The initiators of the call for strike have informed the CSC that they would like the strike to happen at the earliest opportunity. Accordingly, the strike shall take place on 7 April 2016 at all sites of employment: Munich, The Hague, Berlin and Vienna.

This is not a SUEPO thing but also a CSC thing**, so it’s very broad and widely supported.

Meanwhile, according to this morning’s new comment, CA/26/16 is out. AC-DC (Administrative Council-Disciplinary Committee presumably, as a band-named joke) wrote:

“The AC, [...] having repeatedly expressed its deep concerns about the social unrest within the EPOffice;
having repeatedly urged the EPOffice President and the trade unions to reach a consensus on an MOU which would establish a framework for negotiation between social partners;
noting that disciplinary sanctions and proceedings against staff or trade union
representatives have, among other reasons, made it more difficult to reach such a consensus;
noting that these disciplinary sanctions and proceedings are widely being questioned in the public opinion;
recalling the importance and the urgency of the structural reform of the BOA;
recognizing the important institutional role of the AC and its dependence on a well-resourced and independent secretariat;
Calls on both parties to the social dialogue to recognize their responsibilities and to work diligently and in good faith to find a way forward, and:
Requests the EPOffice President – to ensure that disciplinary sanctions and proceedings are not only fair but also seen to be so, and to consider the possibility of involvement of an external reviewer or of arbitration or mediation pending the outcome of this process and before further decisions in disciplinary cases are taken, to inform the AC in appropriate detail and make proposals that enhance confidence in fair and reasonable proceedings and sanctions;
to submit to the AC a draft revision of the Staff Regulations which incorporates investigation guidelines (including the investigation unit) and disciplinary procedures which have been reviewed and amended;
to achieve, within the framework of the tripartite negotiations, an MOU simultaneously with both trade unions, which would have no pre-conditions or exclude any topics from future discussions;
to submit proposals to the AC at its June 2016 meeting, after discussion in B28, for immediate implementation of the structural reform of the BOA, on the lines of the 5 points agreed by the AC at its December 2015 meeting and of the legal advice given by Prof. Sarooshi, and taking into account comments from the Presidium of the BOA;
to submit proposals to the AC at its June 2016 meeting, after discussion in B28, for reinforcement of the AC secretariat and a clarification of its position in terms of governance.
Requests the staff representation and the Trade Unions – to acknowledge the importance
of firm and fair disciplinary procedures; and to respond constructively to the initiatives set out above, in particular to work rapidly to an agreement on Union recognition without preconditions.”

Sounds like the AC did not have a clue of what was going on, did they? Supervisory body? European model institution? Frightening …

Yours, AC-DC

By failing to take firm action in the middle of March the Administrative Council failed to prevent a strike. In a sense, it’s partly at fault and arguably to blame for this. It’s just too close to Battistelli, still. People can sense it and they act accordingly.

Personally, and as many readers of Techrights would agree, I have an issue with software patents in Europe, which the UPC threatens to bring/cement. EPO lobbying for UPC at Fordham 2016 was covered here in English and in Spanish over the weekend and another blog update from a UPC proponent who was there says:

In the UPC, the risk of a pan-European injunction increases these considerations. Tina suggested that a concept of an automatic one-size fits all injunction can distort how companies do business. Indeed, a concept of an automatic injunction may prioritize litigation over licensing.

Annabelle Bennett, in the audience, commented that the patent is the right to exclude: “Previously, in the ordinary patent sense, people would come to court and almost automatically be granted an injunction. But, an injunction is a discretionary remedy which means you do not get an injunction in all cases. Standard essential patents (SEPs) are a classic example or where a device has 1000 patents in it. Judges are not automatons – they will fashion the remedy to the case.” This will hopefully also ring true in the UPC, says Merpel.

There is generally a lot more to be angry about than just abuse of EPO workers. This institution does not serve humans, it increasingly just serves large corporations (at the expense of people) and many of these corporations are not at all European.
___________
* One image/message we took a glimpse at said: “From a friend of a friend… The future of the EPO is at stake! 3701 colleagues voted for strike. You made it possible: The restoration of fundamental rights and the end of injustice at the EPO is now within our reach. The cracks in the system can no longer be hidden. Join now for a day of office-wide strike. Change the course of the EPO. As everyone is watching, your determination can now restore our rights. On 7 April, you will decide about your future and the future of the EPO. Strike on 7 April”

** “Please note,” one message stated, “that has been notified by this strike day has been officially notified by CSC to the President in a letter on the 30.03.16 [...] the choice of the date is a consequence of a letter from the lawyer acting on behalf of the initiators of the strike “Lawfulness at the EPO”. Please note that, even though the strike is “organised by the EPO”, it seems that so far (four working days before) no registration tool has been put in place. But it can only be a matter of time.”

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2016/04/03/epo-strike-details/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 25/2/2021: RHEL for Open-Source Infrastructure, GNOME 40 Beta, LXPanel 0.10.1

    Links for the day



  2. IBM and Qt Don't Understand Free Software and They Now Impose Terms and Conditions on Who Qualifies for Use of Free Software Free of Charge

    IBM and Qt Don't Understand Free Software and They Now Impose Terms and Conditions on Who Qualifies for Use of Free Software Free of Charge



  3. Techrights Gemini Capsule, Now With Over 35,000 Pages and Files

    Blog posts combined with static (plain text) files are now 36,000+ in number, just for Gemini protocol alone; that number keeps growing as our conversion proceeds and evolves (our software will be released under terms of the AGPLv3)



  4. Eventually, or Hopefully, Many People Will Come Back to What the Web Used to Be (Or Web Alternatives More Like the 'Old' Web)

    With RSS feeds making a comeback and a resurgence of personal blogs we can take back the Web from a cabal of tech/Internet giants and social control media, censored, curated and spied on by oligarchy



  5. If Wikipedia is Controlled by Corporations and Mobs, It Needs to Be 'Cancelled'

    Facts have never truly mattered in social control media sites; it certainly seems as though Wikipedia now suffers the very same issue/deficit, allowing oligarchs and their companies to define what goes on in the world and which people Wikipedia should regard as persona non grata



  6. GNU/Linux Reaffirms Its Status as the Universal and Inter-planetary Operating System

    The operating system made for and by scientists (not business sharks and marketing cults) is winning the battle, and not only in this planet



  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 24, 2021



  8. Links 25/2/2021: Kali Linux 2021.1, Wine Launcher 1.4.46, and Google's Security Posing

    Links for the day



  9. Links 24/2/2021: MariaDB 10.5.9, Krita 4.4.3 Beta, and Debuginfod Server for Debian

    Links for the day



  10. Self-Host Your Videos, Take Full Advantage of HTML5 and Video Attributes

    For self-hosting of videos over the World Wide Web (Gemini too can handle videos; its clients/browsers can, for example, link video files/URLs to external media players) it's worth reviewing the full set of features made available by the standards because a lot can be accomplished without JavaScript and without unnecessary bloat/complexity



  11. Trying Out NoiseTorch to Reduce Background Sound/Noise in GNU/Linux

    An introduction to noisetorch (or NoiseTorch), an application that helps create virtual microphones/devices with reduced background noise



  12. How the Big Banks and OIN Can Whitewash Software Patents and Do Nothing Concrete About Patent Trolls

    Response to the puff piece entitled "How the Big Banks and OIN Can Lock Out Patent Trolls with Enabled Publications"



  13. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 23, 2021



  14. How to Set Up a Gemini Server of Your Own, Even on a Simple Single-Board Computer

    Using Agate to start one's own Gemini capsule (self-hosted) is a lot simpler than one might be inclined to believe; this is a detailed HOWTO, hoping to encourage more people to join Gemini space, which is fast-growing and free of garbage



  15. Links 23/2/2021: Tails 4.16, Libinput 1.17, Fwupd 1.5.7, Firefox 86, NeoChat 1.1

    Links for the day



  16. The Word Master is Not Problematic in Most Contexts and Its Origin Hasn't a Connection to Slavery

    Slavery is to the word "master" mostly disconnected; it might, however, be closely connected in the minds of racists or the agenda of highly racist corporations (profiting from racism) that look for ways to distract from their racism



  17. On Misapplication, Misuse, Overuse and Abuse of Words (to Suit False Narratives)

    It is looking like the word "abuse" has been extended to basically mean all sorts of things including the act of actually exposing real abuse



  18. The Administrative Council Needs to Fix the EPO While It's Still Possible

    EPO staff and former staff (pensioners) aren't happy and the it's the responsibility of the Administrative Council to do something before it's too late (the reputation of the Office is already severely harmed and it's unable/unwilling to recruit suitable and qualified people, both as examiners and managers, respectively)



  19. 'These Questions Remain Unanswered': Campinos Became Battistelli Just Halfway Through His Term

    The Central Staff Committee of the EPO highlights the grim situation or the deadlock reached after totally dysfunctional Office management somehow managed to kill off channels of communication, in effect going back to where things were back in 2018 under Battistelli



  20. 'The One Percent': Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) Supported Only by 1% of EPO Staff

    Out of 2,237 EPO workers who expressed their position on the SAP, which in essence lowers their salary, only 31 expressed support for it (that's 1.385%)



  21. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, February 22, 2021



  22. DDOS Attacks and Decentralisation

    Our server, which is shared among sites, has been under persistent distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks almost every day in recent weeks, culminating in much worse attacks last night, but we're not too worried anymore



  23. Links 23/2/2021: Gemini (and Gopher) on the Rise Again, Systemd 248 Reaches RC1

    Links for the day



  24. On the Terms Master, Main and Abuse

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  25. Microsoft Inside — Part IV: Microsoft Everywhere, Looking to Poach Developers, Not Disclosing What It Really Wants

    As it turns out, just about everyone looking to recruit for a Microsoft-connected project/company (working on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu etc.) near Microsoft is 'former' Microsoft, but people who are being approached aren't being told so, at least not upfront; those are very familiar and old tactics, which merit a word of caution to all



  26. Microsoft: We Ain't Done Until Raspberry Pi Won't Run (Anything But Our Proprietary Software With 'Telemetry' Surveillance)

    The ongoing series which we started yesterday and still publish today (about Microsoft recruiters) shows that Microsoft has rather toxic ambitions and the general idea is to infect everything with Microsoft, even the things that compete against Microsoft



  27. Controlling the Conduct of Large Corporations (and Monopolies) Would Help Tackle Disproportionate and Asymmetric Power Structures

    A "CoC" (Code of Conduct) is often crafted or drafted with good intentions; but with enforcement put in the wrong hands it is a tool of corporate oppression instead of protection of people's dignity



  28. Another Reason to Boycott Microsoft/GitHub: The War on Reverse-Engineering

    The high-profile fan-made reverse-engineering efforts are being proactively censored by Microsoft on behalf of another company (without as much as due process), reaffirming the problematic nature of GitHub, a monopoly that represses Free software developers



  29. Links 22/2/2021: Lots More About Linux on Mars, Release of 4MLinux 35.2

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft Inside — Part III: Microsoft Finds Out That Free Software Developers Don't Want to Work for Microsoft on Microsoft Platforms

    The attempts to poach high-profile Free software and GNU/Linux developers aren't succeeding, especially once it turns out who's really behind those attempts (they don't give it away upfront)


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