Bonum Certa Men Certa

Watch Out for 'Divide and Rule' Tactics From the Control Risks- and FTI Consulting-Steered EPO

"Playing favourites" and other fracturing strategies seem quite likely in the mix

Control Risks et al.



Summary: Unions of the EPO are being busted and even played off against one another as part of a strategy which appears to resemble a union busters' classic

THINGS at Benoît Battistelli's EPO are quite grim. They are getting only worse over time, never any better. The French media has just written about this and we wait for people who can translate the article.



Now that the EPO's tyrant in chief (Battistelli) is trying to portray SUEPO as some kind of radical fringe (calling it "Mafia" even though a massive and ever-growing number of EPO staff are members) we are starting to suspect it's a strategy we saw and covered here before, in relation to software. For those who are not familiar with it, in the political (and sometimes commercial) world you can weaken some party by introducing or propping up more 'moderate' elements, however small these may be, then induce dilution (by fracturing or superficial division a la sectarian violence, mastered by the British empire). Defection isn't imperative if one can simply incite people against the original party. Some people call this strategy "Controlled Opposition". It's a difficult one to tackle because whether one joins or attacks such perceived (newly-introduced) opposition, the only party destined to benefit is the 'puppet master' of this whole show. It always serves to weaken the majority. It's a form of art and people like those whom Team Battistelli contracted probably know such a spiel.

"It's a form of art and people like those whom Team Battistelli contracted probably know such a spiel."Comments in IP Kat are once again driven towards distraction and infighting (familiar trolling tactics which are used across the Internet to discredit the commenters in forums critical of companies*), reducing the signal-to-noise ratio and thus discouraging constructive participation. Every now and then there are comments that actually add new information rather than feed the trolls. For instance, this comment about FFPE-EPO says that "FFPE-EPO is about to sign a MoU with the office, which will include a passage about the strike regulations needing to be amended.

"That will be a huge victory for the management, even though FFPE-EPO is only local in The Hague, and based on the last election results published, have only about 90 members. But the election details were from 2009, the 2011 results did not include numbers of eligible votes, and apparently there have been no elections since."

What we generally found is, the management is trying to divide (as in "divide and rule") the staff and some say that FFPE-EPO is even 'in bed' with Bergot (there are many more rumours out there about FFPE-EPO). One comment from exactly one month ago said:

Of course they are management friendly: they were created and sponsored internally with the one belgian colleague close to VP1 who recently has become PD (and also with the support of the then head of personnel in TH (a Dutch national now in DG3) and PD HR at the time (another Belgian now in Alicante).

Recently their officials in The Hague travelled with Ms Bergot to have an official meeting in Brussel with the head office of FFPE.

FFPE is a yellow union.


Prior to this one person wrote:

Among the increasingly bizarre pronouncements of the President is the one that says he is about to sign an agreement with the unions in a matter of days. How can this be when SUEPO has long declined any further discussions as long as its representatives are under threat?

The answer is possibly that the President intends to enter into an agreement with FFPE. This is a management-sponsored union set up some years before the arrival of Battistelli, as an opponent of SUEPO. It was accorded privileges never allowed to SUEPO, such as its own office in The Hague. Now there is nothing wrong with any alternative union with different views appealing to staff - that is simple democracy. However, its candidates failed at the time to win election to the staff committee. That is also democracy.

Up until recently little was heard of it, but it was a party to the talks on Union recognition held earlier this year. I am prepared to bet that Battystelli intends to sign an agreement with it to show how Union-friendly he is. It is normal for such agreements to set a minimum requirement for the percentage of staff belonging to any Union before it is recognized as a negotiation partner. SUEPO membership is around 40-50% of staff. FFPE membership was secret last time I asked, but it was roughly estimated to be around 40 (members, not percentages) in its heyday. This would represent about 0.57% of staff. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on these figures, but the orders of magnitude are correct. It will be interesting to see if Batty ignores these facts.


In defence of FFPE-EPO one person wrote:

FFPE-EPO is not management friendly, but they lack capacity and experience, furthermore they are limited to The Hague only. They split from SUEPO due to the overactivity of SUEPO, and because SUEPO did nothing to get the same rights for Dutch employees in The Hague as the "expats" in The Hague enjoy. Therefore nearly all FFPE-EPO members are of Dutch nationality, which actually severely limits FFPE-EPO.


Another person wrote:

While I would welcome a second point of view in the on-going discussions, and a second report of how the meetings regarding the rcognition of the unions is proceedings, and thus a second union could be advantageous, I have a few problems with the way the current second union handles current "reforms to ensure the independency of the EPO for the future". My major point of deficiency FFPE-EPO has in my views, that they do not communicate how they see the current discussions. Once a year a blue page in the inbox of the emploees doesn't tell us much about what they are doing to address the current topics, nor where they see a possible solution, nor if an how they are in cntct with the administration/other unions/.... To me it seems a lot like the FFPE-EPO officials "gave up" and do not care about FFPE-EPO anymore, and several of their members I know will leave FFPE-EPO due to their silence...


Here is the part about Bergot again:

well if you wish to know the FFPE position read management communication my friend ;o)

Again FFPE-EPO officials travelled WITH Mrs Bergot to meet their head office in Brussel. How can this be a trustworthy union.

Say no more


We previously covered FFPE-EPO's statement or stance, but there are sceptical voices there which ask them, "tell us something FFPE-EPO: how many members do you have of how many nationality?" Another says: "SUEPO is not only an organization under Dutch law, If I am not mistaken. SUEPO also represents staff in Munich, Berlin and Vienna. FFPE-EPO does not seem to be an option for staff at those locations, which is the majority. If I am wrong, please put me right."

Cynic said: "As a Suepo member, Ffpe is a union for primarily Dutch colleagues who do face distinct issues unrelated to their non-Dutch colleagues which do not get a large look in with Suepo. This is almost inevitable and I appreciate that the solution is either to have a dedicated romp within Suepo or a separate parallel union. Ideally they would find a place within Suepo but I don't see them as 'opposition' although they have been played off against Suepo at times for mgt games.

"With regard to mgt fighting blog games, the actions of mgt are barely credible and the PR battle is going against them. For a long time they kept a lofty disregard but as the battles became uncomfortable they have signed up with agencies for tidy sums who are clearly trying for reputation mgt using a different tactic. It looks like a last stand with backs to the wall but maybe that's wishful thinking. "

That's where we suspect there may be efforts to divide and rule (the above is clearly some kind of infighting). One person even pulled me into this and wrote: "Dr. Schestowitz has often expressed misgivings about the UPC. Presumably management at the EPO have concluded that he must be part of the anti-UPC conspiracy and must be crushed using all resources available."

"Enemy in the own body" is what one reader of ours called this strategy. "Regarding what Battistelli says about the union," referring to SUEPO, "(or as he called elsewhere, "minority of staff" - this is fully ridiculous) - he used the term "mafia".

"I wonder," the reader said, "why he did not use "cancer", the enemy in the own body. It is he and his inner circle, not the staff, who is the enemy (cancer) in the own body. Reforms of the European Patent Organisation are needed, especially law (which is available) must be applicable and the waive of immunity (for all non-patent-related matters). Democracy and Human rights are ignored, I regard this as illegal, and the public must fight against the unlawful behaviour."

The curious thing we find as we glance at comments in IP Kat is the effort to distract and to turn the debate into a combative argument between defenders of the EPO (or sceptics of the regulars), not the sharing of information among staff with the cloak of anonymity (offered with very clear caveats by Google).

Based on what we have learned, even money is being used in an effort to appease critics (not just delegates). We wrote about this a week ago. Bonus as an incentive goes a long way, no matter how miniscule. We have learned that among patent examiners, for example, a "vast majority" denied and even appealed against this form of "corruption".

"In other words," we were told, "since Brimelow, Pompidou and Battistelli, they did not want to become accomplices of the management. I know of some who donated their bonus, or a major part, to charity organisations, because they did not want this stinky euros."

Appeasing or discouraging dissent by paying people more (than colleagues in the same pay grade) is one way to buy people's silence. "My personal view," our source told us, is that "this is money from applicants, public, and should not be fed back to public servants. Like the millions which are spent for the (cui bono?) "Inventors of the year" events."

A similarly-obscene amount of money (nearly a million dollars) is being wasted because Team Battistelli is now paying a US-based PR firm for reputation laundering or disaster management. Considering the fact that this money is sucked up through patent tax (tax on European citizens, collected by the EPO's 'special' friends which it calls "major applicants"), that's really something, isn't it? A tax paid by the public is now being used for deceiving that same public so that the public keeps paying up. What a scam. And the EPO still enjoys a monopoly in Europe (and hopes to make it more so with the UPC).

To our reader it seems like "no one of the examiners wants a bonus in these times. It is internal corruption." __________ * Not sure if the the EPO meddles to achieve this or maybe FTI Consulting, to some degree. We wrote about this before.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Sheriff of Cork & Debian Edward Brocklesby or Brockelsby Street confusion
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Who Is This Backup FOR, the NSA?
As Admfubar put it, "backups for everyone..."
Microsoft's Siege of Libya Coming to an End
One might be tempted to guess the users deleted Windows and installed something else
New Talk by Dr. Richard Stallman Published Two Days Ago By CeSIUM - Centro de Estudantes de Engenharia Informática da Universidade do Minho (Portugal)
The FSF no longer mentions Richard Stallman's talks, but we will
Name the Threats and Threat Actors
Looking back to 2006, there was Novell and gregkh (partly salaried by Microsoft), so these are familiar territories
The "Other" SPLC
You know you're winning the debate when censorship is explored
Microsoft: By Default, Destroy Linux
Here is what the very "polite" Microsoft Boccassi had to say
Perens on a Stick
Remember what Novell did and how few (barely anyone) sided with Novell
Andrew Tanenbaum Gets an Award for His Work on MINIX
ACM one week ago
Twitter's Fall to Irrelevancy in Europe
Musk bought a dud
 
Links 25/06/2024: Julian Assange Freed From Prison, "AI" Bubble Imploding Some More
Links for the day
Three Points About Julian Assange Plea Deal
There is still a secret problem
[Meme] EFF Became a 'Bunch of Pussies' Working for GAFAM (and Sponsored by GAFAM)
It won't protect people, except very rich people's interests
IBM Does Not Care for the Blind (Wayland Harms Accessibility)
What a punch in the gut
Tux Machines Past 20: Still Thriving
Now 20 years and 2 weeks old
[Meme] Microsoft is Coming /Home
"LOL, REAL SORRY!!!"
Gemini Links 25/06/2024: Old Computer Challenge; An Opinionated GNU/Linux Guide
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 24, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 24, 2024
IEEE Computer Society on Andrew Tanenbaum, Winner of ACM Award, Who Also Inspired Linux Development
10 years ago
FSF Looking to Raise Money by Adding 200 New Members by July 19
The FSF is in good shape, according to Alexandre Oliva
Not Only Does It Not Add Security... (UEFI as a 'Bug Door')
SecureCore?
Data From Monaco Should Alarm Microsoft
Just how many people are deleting Windows and installing something else this year?
Linux in Central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger)
Vast area, vast number of "Linux users" (if one counts Android as such)
[Meme] Gagging One's Own Staff as a Signal of Corporate Distress
Censorship at Microsoft
Staying the Course
censorship isn't easy against sites that understand ways to resist it
The 'All-Seeing' Microsoft Eye
Microsofters are observing us closely
Links 24/06/2024: Long COVID and "How I Write Blogs"
Links for the day
Allegations That Microsoft is Covering Up Employee Dissatisfaction and Using a Survey to Catch 'Risk' to the Cult Mentality
This favours or gradually socially-engineers a company for sociopathy
'Linux Hint' Inactive for Nearly a Month (It Used to be Very Active)
Their Twitter account hasn't been active for a long time and it's not too clear what's going on
An Unexpected GNU/Linux Trend
Burkina Faso is changing and not just politically
Android (Linux) at New Highs in Burkina Faso, Now Measured at 72% (Windows Was Measured at 98% 15 Years Ago)
based on this month's estimates
With 0.76% for ChromeOS and 3.7% for GNU/Linux (4.5% Total) Burkina Faso Approaches 5% for 'Linux'
More if one counts Android as "Linux"
Gemini Links 24/06/2024: Being Dull and OpenSSH Autoban
Links for the day
EPO Issues in The Hague
a report dated 4 days ago about a meeting that took place 12 days ago
[Meme] Garbage in, Garbage Out (EPO Patent Quality)
"Get back to work"
When the Employer Makes You Too Sick to Go to Work (New EPO Document)
"registering when you are sick"
[Meme] 'Useless' Kids of EPO Examiners
malnourished?
Granting Loads of Monopolies in Europe (to Foreign Corporations of Epic Size and Far Too Much Power Inside Europe) is Vastly More Important Than Raising European Kids Properly?
"Efficiency" first? Whose? Corporations or families? No wonder so many young families are hesitant to have any kids these days; that's particularly true in east Asia and also in north America, not just Europe
[Meme] Putin's Red Flags
Firefox ESR or Firefox USSR
The Corporate/Mainstream Media and Even Social Control Media is Distorting the Record About What Mozilla Actually Did (It Originally Surrendered to Vladimir Putin)
Mozilla being avoided for purely technical reasons (sites not being compatible with it) is one thing. Foolishly, Mozilla is giving people more political reasons to also shun Mozilla. This is suicide.
GNU/Linux Up Some More This Morning, Windows Down Sharply Even in Rich Countries
Microsoft is in trouble in the Muslim world
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Rising... Towards 5% for ChromeOS and GNU/Linux
the latest numbers show it growing from about 0.1% to around 2.4% for GNU/Linux, plus 2.01% for Chromebooks (ChromeOS), i.e. about 5% in total.
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Free Speech (Online) Angle
Free speech is a fundamental tenet of a free society
Links 24/06/2024: New Research, New Attacks on Justices Sceptical of Patent Maximalists, European Commission for Copyright Maximalists
Links for the day
[Meme] 12 Years a Fedora Volunteer
IBM gives me a 'free' Fedora badge as recognition
IBM Slavery: Not a New Problem
When IBM got rid of Ben Cotton it showed the world how much it valued Fedora
Why They Want to Abolish Master/Slave Terminology (Because This is What They're Turned Free Software Into)
It used to be about community; GAFAM turned that into exploitation and worse
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) Version 0.2 is Released
They say summer "officially" started some days ago
Torvalds' Number Two Quit Linux a Decade Ago and Has Since Then Earned an Honorary Doctorate
Revisiting Fuzix and Alan Cox
GNU/Linux Reaches All-Time High in Tunisia
Based on statCounter
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 23, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 23, 2024
Edward Brocklesby (ejb) & Debian: Hacking expulsion cover-up in proximity to Oxford and GCHQ
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
You Know the Microsoft Products Really Suck When...
"Qualcomm and Microsoft go 'beyond the call of duty' to stop independent Copilot+ PC reviews"
IBM and "Regime Change"
Change of regime is not the same as freedom
Microsoft Windows in Nicaragua: From 98% to Less Than 25%
Operating System Market Share Nicaragua
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Community Angle
Somebody needs to call them out on their BS
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Software Angle
Gemini Protocol has just turned 5 - i.e. roughly the same age as our Git repositories
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Patent Angle
Next month marks 10 years since we began covering EPO leaks
Wookey, Intrigeri, Cryptie & Debian pseudonyms beyond Edward Brocklesby
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Choice Versus Freedom
So When Do I Start Having Freedom? Freedom is choice between the GAFAMs
Digital Liberation of Society at Times of Armed Conflicts and Uncertainty
We have technical contributions, not just written output
Links 23/06/2024: More Microsoft Cancellations, Growing Repression Worldwide
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: The Magician and the Hacker, tmux Tips
Links for the day
Links 23/06/2024: Twitter/X Wants Your Money, Google Reports a Billion DMCA Takedowns in Four Months
Links for the day
Digital Restrictions (Like DRM) Don't Have Brands, We Need to Teach People to Hate the Underlying Restrictions, Not Companies That Typically Come and Go
Conceptually, the hens should fear humans, not the farmer who cages them
Going Above 4% Again
Maybe 4% (or above) by month's end?
[Meme] Debian's 'Cannon Fodder' Economics
Conflicts of interest don't matter
Conviction, jail for Hinduja family, Debian exploitation comparison
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
According to Microsoft, It's Not a Code of Conduct Violation to Troll Your Victims Whose Files You Are Purging
The group of vandals from Microsoft think it's "funny" (and for a "nominal fee") to troll Microsoft critics
Microsoft Inside Debian is Sabotaging Debian and Its Many Hundreds of Derivatives With SystemD (Microsoft/GitHub Slopware With Catastrophic Bugs is Hardly a New Problem)
What is the moral of the story about The Scorpion and the Frog?
Links 23/06/2024: Hey Hi (AI) Scrapers Gone Very Rogue, Software Patents Squashed at EPO
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 22, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 22, 2024
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: LoRaWAN and Gemini Plugin for KOReade
Links for the day