EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.25.19

Team Campinos Will Try to Make It Difficult to Go on Strike (But Won’t Manage to Prevent It)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Facing Insistent, Demoralised EPO Staff

Strike action

Summary: The European Patent Office has a long and growing tradition of failing to respect staff’s rights, including the right to go on strike (over violations of other rights of staff)

OVER the past few days we’ve written twice about EPO strike ballot. There’s going to be a ballot for a strike (such initiatives used to get 90% of people in favour, if not more, probably due to some in management voting against). Rules have been made stricter to make it harder to initiate strikes (thresholds, delays, intimidation, miscommunication, blackout, misinformation, and various other voter suppression tactics). Over the years we wrote dozens of articles about past strikes as well as actions to restrict these. Among them:

EPO President António Campinos has not even been on the job for a year. He has been telling people fairy tales about his father and pretended to EPO staff that he sought to ameliorate the crisis (while further diminishing patent quality in Europe). Judging by the latest comments on this blog post from “Kluwer Patent blogger”, people remain very unhappy. The blog post mostly pastes text from SUEPO, adding some context and other developments towards the end:

‘Almost one year after the arrival as Mr. Campinos as President of the EPO, we note with regret that the social situation hasn’t improved and that none of the root causes of the many issues that trouble our organisation have been addressed. The Battistelli administration and its anti-staff policies are still in place. The situation in the office is more toxic than ever, as also shown by the recent disastrous staff survey results and the worsening of staff health. There are many reasons for discontent’, the SUEPO wrote to president Campinos last week.

[...]

The EPO staff survey mentioned earlier (and reported about on this blog) showed four in ten staff members say they face substantial obstacles to doing their job well. They have a very negative view of management effectiveness, with low confidence in senior management decisions. Only 39 percent feel they are treated with respect.

In the meantime, the president of the Federation of International Civil Servants’ Associations (FICSA), which represents the interests of more than 20.000 staff in the international civil service, wrote to Campinos yesterday as well, expressing ‘grave concern about the apparent lack of meaningful progress in the social dialogue at the EPO as reported to FICSA.’

Under EPO regulations, organising a strike can take more than a month. The SUEPO wants the strike to take place around the next meeting of the Administrative Council on 26 and 27 June 2019. The strike action is subject to a staff ballot, which has to be organised by the administration before 16 June.

“The EPO is really sick” is the name assigned to the first (among 6) comment. “Is that how Mr Campinos concretely acts when it comes to handle “taxpayers’ money” with “due diligence, due process and careful legal assessment”?”

Rhetorical question. Here’s the full comment:

Mr. Campinos sets a new record with his arrogant style, dilettante fashion and worrying lack of genuine work and concrete action. Less than a year after he took office, he who was presented as the king of social dialogue, you bet he is indeed!

All this is also the sad result of the work of his preferred advisers’, the duo Bergot-Requena.

Surely the famous “french touch” found on http://www.suepo.org : https://www.challenges.fr/entreprise/vie-de-bureau/burn-out-alerte-rouge-sur-le-management-a-la-francaise_655248

All this is utterly depressing. This unsolved social crisis obviously impacts on the functioning of the EPO to the detriment of the users and the public. The quality of the work delivered is plummeting since management by fear and pressure coupled to wrong incentives creates a deleterious work environment.

Also illustrative of the unhealthy practices at the EPO under the current administration :

during the recent Budget and Finance Committee in Munich Mr Campinos is said to have tried and fortunately blatantly failed, to obtain no less than 600 (!) Mio EUR ( some delegations actually reported of 1 billion EUR, a “mere” 400 Mio difference but hey : so what? ) for “imperative” building works office-wide which no one, except Campinos and the duo Requena-Bergot probably, consider imperative.

Fortunately for once the delegations were awake: indeed 16 voted to modify the agenda point from “for vote” to “for information”, further 19 abstained. 35 out of 39 delegations thus refused to follow Campinos blindly. This is no surprise since Campinos took them for nothing but fools (they were provided with a very thin rationale to support the need for such an enormous amount of applicants’ money, they had only a few weeks to make up their minds and no time to ask questions).

To paraphrase his own words, from his recent distasteful communiqué on EPO’s intranet :

– Would Mr Campinos not be a little “excessive” on this one ?
– Is that how Mr Campinos concretely acts when it comes to handle “taxpayers’ money” with “due diligence, due process and careful legal assessment” ?

As Americans put it : follow the money.

CUI BONO?

Some then said:

One reads this post and cannot believe that this is what the EPO has become.

In less than a decade, a bunch of managers have succeeded in annihilating one of the few (the only?) European organizations governed by engineers and scientists who actually knew what they were doing.

Then there’s a link to Techrights and to USF:

the letter of FICSA to Mr Campinos mentioned in the Kluwer article can be found here : http://techrights.org/2019/05/24/ficsa-last-chance/

[...]

And before FICSA, Union Syndicale Federale (USF) wrote to Mr Campinos https://www.unionsyndicale.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/USF_OEB_2019-04-29-12-48-18.pdf

The EPO now pays Mercer (yes, there’s Trump connection) to lie about the EPO and then financially screw staff this way, in essense by manufacturing gloomy predictions. As the next commenter put it:

The manner in which the EPO’s future financial status has been reported worrys [sic] me greatly.

It is self-evidently not the case that the EPO is in any danger of going in to the red. If it were, then would it really have decided to massively increase the risk level with regard to the investments that it makes with a substantial portion of its enormous cash reserves? After all, if you cannot afford to lose, then you do not take unnecessary risks!

So, given that the projected deficit is nothing more than a fantasy, one has to ask why on earth would the EPO’s management want to try to sell that fantasy? Whilst I do not know the real reason for this, it is clear that it cannot be anything good … hence my concern about what on earth the EPO’s management could be planning.

Since 2016 we’ve been writing about Campinos, saying he would likely be the ‘next Battistelli’. His mask is slipping. Staff should go on strike; he would soon get the message. So would the Council. Staff demands concrete changes, not mask swaps.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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 19/9/2019: German Federal Ministry of the Interior Wants FOSS, Top Snaps Named

    Links for the day



  2. Buying the Voices of 'Linux' People to Repeat Microsoft's Talking Points While Removing Our Icons and Leaders (Calling Them Sexist)

    The dirty games leveraged by several companies including Microsoft target charismatic people who are essential for morale and leadership; these tactics aren't particularly novel



  3. When the EPO Sees Itself as Above European Law, Grants Patents in Defiance of the EPC (Its Founding Document) and Violates Staff's Labour Rights/Protections (International Law)

    The absurd state of affairs at the EPO has reached the point where laws at every level are being violated and even judges are being threatened or vainly ignored; the EU is belatedly trying to tackle these issues, which have actually cost its credibility a great deal and threaten the perception of Rule of Law at multiple levels



  4. Links 19/9/2019: Samba 4.11.0 and Kubernetes 1.16

    Links for the day



  5. Update on Koch v EPO: Internal Appeals Committee (IAC) Composition Still Likely Illegal

    An important EPO case, concerning a dismissed staff representative, shows what ILO-AT and the EPO's Internal Appeals Committee boil down to



  6. Links 18/9/2019: Fedora Linux 31 Beta, PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Update

    Links for the day



  7. Links 17/9/2019: CentOS 7.7 and Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  8. EPO is Not European

    Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the 'globalisation' of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn't equipped to serve its original goals anymore



  9. The EPO's Central Staff Committee and SUEPO (Staff Union) Respond to “Fascist Bills” Supported by EPO President António Campinos

    Raw material pertaining to the latest Campinos "scandal"; what Campinos said, what the Central Staff Committee (CSC) said, and what SUEPO said



  10. Storm Brewing in the European Patent Office After a Hot Summer

    Things aren't rosy in EPOnia (to say the least); in fact, things have been getting a lot worse lately, but the public wouldn't know judging by what media tells the public (almost nothing)



  11. Why I Once Called for Richard Stallman to Step Down

    Guest post from the developer who recently authored "Getting Stallman Wrong Means Getting The 21st Century Wrong"



  12. As Richard Stallman Resigns Let's Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

    Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom



  13. Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

    Links for the day



  14. Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  15. Richard Stallman's Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates' Vastly Worse Role

    It's easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman's personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant



  16. Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

    Links for the day



  17. Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

    Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those



  18. 'Open Source' You Cannot Run Without Renting or 'Licensing' Windows From Microsoft

    When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?



  19. All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

    All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor“



  20. The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

    The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software



  21. EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

    A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren't EPC-compliant)



  22. Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

    Links for the day



  23. Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the 'Norm' in Europe

    Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole 'patent bubble' lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)



  24. Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to 'Globalise' a System of Monopolies on Everything

    Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide



  25. Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli 'Metastasising' in Private Law Firms

    The EPO's Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect



  26. Microsoft Targets GNU/Linux Advocates With Phony Charm Offensives and Fake 'Love'

    The ways Microsoft depresses GNU/Linux advocacy and discourages enthusiasm for Software Freedom is not hard to see; it's worth considering and understanding some of these tactics (mostly assimilation-centric and love-themed), which can otherwise go unnoticed



  27. Proprietary Software Giants Tell Open Source 'Communities' That Proprietary Software Giants Are 'Friends'

    The openwashing services of the so-called 'Linux' Foundation are working; companies that are inherently against Open Source are being called "Open" and some people are willing to swallow this bait (so-called 'compromise' which is actually surrender to proprietary software regimes)



  28. Microsoft Pays the Linux Foundation for Academy Software Foundation, Which the Linux Foundation is Outsourcing to Microsoft

    Microsoft has just bought some more seats and more control over Free/Open Source software; all it had to do was shell out some 'slush funds'



  29. Links 14/9/2019: SUSE CaaS Platform, Huawei Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  30. Links 13/9/2019: Catfish 1.4.10, GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

    Links for the day


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