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EPO Continues to Violate Laws and Fundamental Rights of EPO Staff (Which an International Court Recently Told It Was Violating)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 12:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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EPO Continues to Violate Laws
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Summary: The Central Staff Committee of the EPO lashes out at the EPO’s administration for persisting with illegal tactics; it should be increasingly clear to Mr. Breton and other Eurocrats that the EPO’s administration isn’t subjected to oversight by anybody, not even judges of the ILOAT

THE EPO is a criminal institution, run by Mafioso- or Mafia-like elements trying to convert the institution into cash by breaking all the basic rules and foundations of this institution. What best describes the process by which Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos seized and then maintained their positions of power is “Organised Crime”. They closely coordinated this institutional power grab for years. ILO has repeatedly complained, in several formal publications in fact, that the EPO had slipped out of control; ILOAT considered kicking out the EPO.

“ILO has repeatedly complained, in several formal publications in fact, that the EPO had slipped out of control; ILOAT considered kicking out the EPO.”The new letter, which is shown above, explains the severity of the situation. We’re reproducing it below in HTML form (for conversion to plain text and GemText).

The Central Staff Committee says that the EPO’s “administration published an unsigned announcement the day after the strike to provide the participation rates. The percentage of staff participating increased when compared to the last strike in December 2020, but on closer inspection, some of the details seemed off.”

They wrote about this over a week ago. But by now they’ve had more time to study the situation. “We thank the colleagues who assisted us by reaching out to share their experiences,” they say. “This publication explains what we have learnt about the reliability of the purported figures and the reluctance from the administration to fully acknowledge the right to strike.”

Here it is:

Munich, 04/04/2022

What are the real strike figures?

The administration published an unsigned announcement the day after the strike to provide the participation rates. The percentage of staff participating increased when compared to the last strike in December 2020, but on closer inspection, some of the details seemed off. We thank the colleagues who assisted us by reaching out to share their experiences. This paper explains what we have learnt about the reliability of the purported figures and the reluctance from the administration to fully acknowledge the right to strike.

Strike participation rate: who cares about accuracy anyway?
The official announcement states that 24.45% of staff officewide participated in the strike action. However, HR management informed us that this number only includes those whose participation was successfully registered in the strike tool, which is managed solely by the administration. We had contacted the administration in the days before the strike to point at the many errors and bugs (including disappearing registrations) in the tool experienced by staff, but they decided it was not necessary to act. This prompted SUEPO to publish advice that registration in the faulty tool was actually not a legal requirement and an email to the line-manager would suffice. HR management also informed us that staff on sick leave who registered in the tool were not counted in the figures, and we wonder whether this is also the case for other forms of leave. As such, we find it difficult to trust the numbers published by the administration, and we conclude that the reported 24.45% participation rate is only the minimum percentage. From the echoes received, the strike participation seems to be substantially higher.

Strike day production numbers: misleading and lacking context
The administration could not refrain from adding the bizarre and triumphant statement to the announcement that “despite the strike, our Office’s production remained strong: in the course of the day 1 357 products were finalised.” They did not provide any context for the number in general, but from the dashboards we find that the cited figure was -310 products below plan1. In addition, they neglected to mention that the day of the strike coincided with an unusually high number of production points from DEAD coding (around 300 compared to the daily average of around 60; found via an appropriate epoque query). This apparent attempt to mislead staff did not go unnoticed, and colleagues contacted us to inform us of the “coincidence” of having DEAD points assigned to them on the day of strike. They also shared their feeling that the tone of the announcement was disrespectful and contemptuous.

1 See snapshot on page 2 of “SUEPO action of 22 March 2022: A striking success”, SUEPO paper of 24 March
2022 (su22017cp)

Our demands to the President
At a time the EPO pretends to increase transparency, the strike organisation on the part of the administration scores far below all benchmarks. From an Office putting in place micro-management and precisely counting products or tasks fulfilled by every single individual staff member, such negligence confirms that the administration is only reluctantly acknowledging the right to strike after the ILOAT (e.g. judgment 4435; see report) ordered to put an end to eight years of illegal strike regulations.

In light of these events, we have sent three demands in a letter to the President:

• that our concerns with the strike registration tool be addressed and the instruction to register in a tool be removed
• that he allows an observer from the strike organising body (union / staff representation) to oversee the counting of the strike participation figures
• that clarification be provided for colleagues who desire to strike during periods of leave (sick, annual, parental/family, home, other unpaid).

It is to be expected that the administration desires to defend its position during strike actions, but it should also show integrity when doing so and avoid presenting misleading production figures. Freedom of association also requires that management does not interfere into the organisation and in particular when it comes to requisitioning, registering and counting.

The Central Staff Committee

Suffice to say, insulting the intelligence of staff is counter-productive (to say the least) and can incite the staff to go on more strikes. All we have here is another Battistelli.

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