03.17.22

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EPO Strike Participation Will Help Correct a Corrupt Office Which Harms Science, Weakens Europe’s Economy, and Abolishes Human Rights

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

Video download link | md5sum 2dcda7b17550f714380c2a762aaad77f
The Call for EPO Strike Participation
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: EPO staff in all sites (multiple different countries and cities) will be on strike next week, coinciding with the “e-Meeting” of the Administrative Council (warning: epo.org link)

I MYSELF have long antagonised bosses, even at risk to myself. So I’m not being a hypocrite here; I think all EPO staff needs to go on strike next Tuesday. Risky? Maybe. But the more people participate, the lower the collective risk becomes. Show solidarity to your colleagues! Object to corrupt managers.

EPO CalendarAs noted in the video above, I don’t expect media to pay any attention, but this coming weekend I’ll examine the stock of news and blogs, as usual. I don’t suppose many politicians, maybe just the usual few (e.g. in Germany and in Ireland), will bring up the subject. But lots of stakeholders quietly/silently — sometimes just passively — pay attention. They wish to get real information and based on that information they can decide what to do. The EPO’s Web site has become 100% propaganda because EPO management is well aware of the harm to its reputation. Benoît Battistelli‘s departure solved nothing and António Campinos is even worse in some ways.

The video above mostly covers or goes through some of the ‘pamphlets’ motivating or rallying staff to go on strike 5 days from now, showing solidarity by joining colleagues. There’s power in numbers and also safety in numbers. They cannot punish the staff when most of the staff refuses to work. Stakeholders do pay attention, even if most of them are too timid to say something in public. Many sympathise fully with the examiners, but at the same time they’re afraid of retribution within their workplace (e.g. law firm or legal department of some large company).

It’s going to be common to see people online at the EPO with a banner like the one below:

SUEPO strike banner

Tomorrow the staff will be meeting to coordinate action, sadly in a platform that’s colluding with EPO management. “More good reasons to follow the Action Plan and to strike on 22 March” were published earlier today, showing the financial rationale [PDF] (there are many reasons other than money). To quote: “On July 2020 the new Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) has been implemented. After only 2 years of application of the SAP our salaries and respectively also our pensions have been massively cut. In The Netherlands, our salaries and pensions lost -7.2% of purchasing power only this year! If you don’t agree with losing even more, come and join our actions and strike on 22 March! Come to our get-together in Rijswijk.”

A day earlier this caricature got published, reminding workers to slow down a bit and focus on doing things right (as per the EPC).

Why go faster?

There’s this publication [PDF] that goes along with it. “The EPO saves money from having less people doing the work of more,” it says. “Not even a several-year-long pandemic has slowed down this trend.”

This is typical all across the board, not just the EPO. But at the EPO they’re increasing fees and saving loads of money. There’s no justification for penalising staff and pensioners.

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