Bonum Certa Men Certa

On Day of Strike FFPE-EPO Reaffirms Status as Yellow (Fake/Management-Leaning) Union, Receives 'Gifts'



"It's like singing to empty tables or a gallery full of ghosts" --Frank Sinatra (audio link)

FFPE-EPO yellow union meeting



Summary: FFPE-EPO (pictured above) does a terrible job trying to come across as a legitimate union by receiving 'gifts' from management and flying over to do a show on a day of strike

It has become quite a spectacular circus at the EPO. This international body, which calls itself the 'European' Patent Office (because the workers are European), increasingly resembles -- not only in the labour rights sense -- some kind of mining corporation in an underdeveloped country. The only thing missing now is an actual assassination of a union leader.



"It has become quite a spectacular circus at the EPO."We have seen several photos from the EPO today (day of strike [1, 2]), but the above photo is priceless. Watch the venue. It's virtually empty. It's a good thing Battistelli is away (chilling with his bodyguards in London) because he's trying to influence/change laws in other countries, taking those countries down to his own level. What's seen above requires some explanation or context. For those who are not familiar with FFPE-EPO, see previous articles of ours such as the following 10 (there were more):

  1. In the EPO's Official Photo Op, “Only One of the Faces is Actually FFPE-EPO”
  2. Further Evidence Suggests and Shows Stronger Evidence That Team Battistelli Uses FFPE-EPO as 'Yellow Union' Against SUEPO
  3. “FFPE-EPO Was Set up About 9 Years Ago With Management Encouragement”
  4. Fallout of the FFPE EPO MoU With Battistelli's Circle
  5. The EPO's Media Strategy at Work: Union Feuds and Group Fracturing
  6. Caricature of the Day: Recognising FFPE EPO
  7. Union Syndicale Federale Slams FFPE-EPO for Helping Abusive EPO Management by Signing a Malicious, Divisive Document
  8. FFPE-EPO Says MoU With Battistelli Will “Defend Employment Conditions” (Updated)
  9. Their Masters' Voice (Who Block Techrights): FFPE-EPO Openly Discourages Members From Reading Techrights
  10. Letter Says EPO MoU “Raises Questions About FFPE's Credibility as a Federation of Genuine Staff Unions”


Less than a week ago FFPE-EPO published the following. As one person put it: "It must be hoped when dealing with patent applications, Mr van der Bijl develops higher standards of intellectual level than what can be seen with such pathetic prose hereunder:"

A first quick reaction to a publication about the MoU



Submitted by S van der Bijl on Fri, 01/04/2016 - 15:01

In a publication dated 31 march 2016 SUEPO wrote the following:

“The result is known: Mr Battistelli sent the Investigative Unit after his would-be “social partner” on the basis of vexatious and absurd accusations, thereby demonstrating bad faith. When questioned about the investigations during one of the meetings, Mr Battistelli cynically asked why we felt concerned. Under such circumstances meaningful talks are not possible and SUEPO pulled out. However, a small staff union (about 75 members) in The Hague did sign the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).”

There are a lot of interesting things to remark about this paragraphe. Let’s have a close look at the circular 341 “Policy on the prevention of harassment and the resolution of conflicts at the EPO”. Article 12 states the following:

1. Upon receipt of an allegation, the investigation unit shall carry out an initial review to assess whether the alleged conduct would, if proven, amount to harassment. 2. This initial review shall establish whether the allegations falls within the remit of the investigation unit. it shall not include any fact finding, or any assessment of the credibility of the allegation. It shall not prejudice the outcome of the future investigations. 3. Under normal circumstances, initial reviews shall be completed no later than 2 months from the date of receipt of the allegation. 4. If as a result of the initial review, the investigation unit finds that the allegation, if proven, would not amount to harassment, it shall close the investigative process. The investigative unit shall inform the complainant and the contact point for conflict resolution in writing of the outcome of the finding. 5. If the complainant is also the victim of the alleged harassment, he/she shall also be provided with a summary of the considerations which led to the decision. 6. If the investigative unit determines that the allegation, if proven, would amount to harassment, it shall evaluate and investigate it in accordance with the provisions below.

An investigation can therefore not be initiated by the president unless he is the victim or the witness to a case of harassment. If the investigation unit was asked to do an initial review it means that a staff member complained about being harassed!

SUEPO claims that this staff member, obviously not being president Batistelli, made a vexatious and absurd (or false) accusation against staff representatives. In other words there was no harassment and in any case, even if there was, this staff member accused the wrong persons. Obviously this staff member accusing SUEPO reps was therefore behaving in bad faith, or at least that is what SUEPO claims.

The investigation unit however studied the case and concluded that there was a case of harassment, informed the persons concerned (according to article 12(4)) and started an investigation (according to article 12(6)). So according to the statement of SUEPO above the wrong behaviour and lies of the complaining staff member were apparently believed by the investigation unit and this investigation unit, knowing that the accusations were wrong (“demonstrating bad faith”) continued nevertheless with an investigation knowing there was no harassment case that could possibly be proven. So, the whole, or at least a substantial part of the investigation unit was involved in a complot to help accuse falsely some union representatives as well.

The alleged complot is getting much bigger now. Then there is an investigation which included also an outside company specialised in such investigations. At this point only the president can intervene and to protect information gathering and the complainant order suspensions (Article 14(2)). So now the president, the PD responsible for personnel and an outside company are all entering in the complot to knowingly falsely accusing union reps.

According to article 15(1) of Circular 341 a Report of the findings is drafted and send to the complainant and the subject of the investigation. Both parties can make additional comments in writing. They probably both did. Apparently the investigation unit and the assisting outside company find the union representatives guilty and recommends that disciplinary procedures should to be started.

The president follows the recommendation and sends it to the disciplinary committee. The disciplinary committee is composed of members nominated by the staff representation and of members nominated by the president of the EPO. The disciplinary committee recommend unanimously that the allegations are proven and recommends a certain sanction to be applied. This means now the entire disciplinary committee, including staff reps, is now included in the complot of sanctioning union reps for something that never happened at all. In the mean time, complainants get harassed for having dared to complain, but of course this also did never happen.

Finally on the basis of the allegations, that never happened, and the harassment of complainants, that also never happened, and the results of the investigation, which were fabricated (by the same investigation unit?), the president takes a decision to apply a heavy sanction.

We will see what ATILO will decide relatively soon but suppose that the ILO tribunal decides to keep the sanction and to follow the disciplinary committee then would that mean that ATILO is also involved the complot of fabricating vexatious and false accusations against union reps.

The main question for you is of course: DO YOU BELIEVE THAT???

And then there is another small detail in the paragraph. FFPE EPO did not sign the proposed MoU. We signed a very different MoU then the one initially proposed. It took a whole year to get to an acceptable formulation for a MoU and the involvement and approval of the central FFPE in Brussels to get to an acceptable MoU of which we are of course very proud even if on some specific details it could be improved.


What's worth noting about the above, in the words of one reader: "a new star is born: Samuel van der Bijl, chairman of FFPE-EPO.org, a "pseudo unionist" working hard at... defending the EPO President.... how touching! One question though: how come Samuel van der Bijl is so well informed about by nature highly confidential matters such as investigations?"

Chalk this up as another example of gross privacy violations and incompetence of EPO management. They previously did the same thing with journalists in order to defame critics. A lot of the above is made up or 'sexed' up. It's the modus operandi in this wave of union-busting actions.

“EPO has provided funds for their flight tickets to MUC as well as granted time deduction to Samuel van der Bijl and Aldert de Haan who - on a day of office-wide strike - dared to come to Munich to speak to... non striking staff....”
      --Anonymous
What's in the photo at the top? "It's about the FFPE Union meeting held today in Munich," the person who sent/leaked it to us explained. "It's hilarious," one regular reader told us, "comical and pathetic at the same time! EPO pays for two flight tickets for FFPE officials and 8 Munich non-striking staff attended." These photos are apparently being passed around quite quickly right now. Internally, might one argue, they "went viral!"

As one person put it, "since they signed the crap MoU produced by Team Battistelli one may hope that as a return, EPO has provided funds for their flight tickets to MUC as well as granted time deduction to Samuel van der Bijl and Aldert de Haan who - on a day of office-wide strike - dared to come to Munich to speak to... non striking staff. And the result is above expectations: no less than 8 non-striking staff attended (among which one close-to-Bergot-staff-rep Christophe Poizat). FFPE: The EPO management's supportive union!"

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