Bonum Certa Men Certa

ILOAT Finally Overturns Battistelli's Vichyite Strike Regulations

ILO screenshot
The Judgments of the ILOAT's 132nd Session were announced in Geneva on 7 July 2021



Summary: An explanation of the blow suffered by António Campinos and the person who gave him the job; ILOAT (or ILO-AT) belatedly -- or eight years late! -- assessed Battistelli's Vichyite strike regulations

There was some good news for EPO staff from Geneva on Wednesday when the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO announced its judgments from the recent 132nd Session, held between 24 May and 28 June 2021.

A significant number of the judgments related to Benoît Battistelli's notorious "Strike Regulations" which were adopted eight years ago in June 2013.



"But despite such clearly expressed reservations, the Administrative Council turned a blind eye to the palpable defects in the proposals tabled by Team Battistelli and - like a bunch of headless chickens - voted to adopt these manifestly flawed measures whose illegality has now been exposed for all to see."On 27 June 2013, following a proposal by the President of the Office [PDF], the Administrative Council adopted decision CA/D 5/13 [PDF] amending the EPO Service Regulations (which entered into force on 1 July 2013).

Amongst other things, CA/D 5/13 created a new Article 30a of the Service Regulations concerning the right to strike.

Article 30a sets out some basic rules concerning strikes, defining what is meant by a “strike” and indicating, amongst other things, that a call for a strike can be initiated by a staff committee, an association of employees, or a group of employees, and that the decision to start a strike must be the result of a vote by the employees. Paragraph 10 of Article 30a authorises the President of the Office to lay down further terms and conditions for the application of Article 30a.

Relying on that provision, on 28 June 2013 the former Vice-President of DG4, Mr Željko Topić - acting on behalf of the President - issued Circular No. 347 containing “Guidelines applicable in the event of strike”, which likewise entered into effect on 1 July 2013.

At the time of their adoption in 2013, Battistelli's Strike Regulations were strongly criticised by EPO staff representatives and the staff union SUEPO. This criticism was shared by outside observers of the social conflict at the EPO which was being escalated to new heights by Battistelli's authoritarian management style à la France Telecom.

An article entitled "The President Repeals A Fundamental Right?" authored by Sylvie Jacobs, the Chairperson of the EU staff union, Union Syndicale Fédérale, which appeared in the January 2014 issue of the USF Newsletter [PDF], Agora, described Battistelli's régime at the EPO in the following terms:

"EPO President Battistelli’s HR policy reveals a serious lack of understanding of fundamental rights of workers, in particular their right of association in the form of a trade-union."


Later that year, in November 2014 [PDF], a position paper issued by the staff union SUEPO entitled "Social Conflict at the European Patent Office" noted that "such measures are unprecedented in Europe, apart from Italy’s Carta del Lavoro (B. Mussolini, 1927) and Spain’s Fuero del Trabajo (F. Franco, 1938)."

In drawing comparisons between Battistelli's oppressive Strike Regulations and those of fascist-corporatist régimes that flourished in Europe during the inter-war period of the 20th century, SUEPO forgot to mention the example which was probably closest to Battistelli's heart: the Labour Code or "Charte du Travail" adopted in 1941 by Philippe Pétain's Vichy State. The repressive labour and social policies of Pétain's État Français were closely modelled on those of Fascist Italy.

Vichy Battistelli
Did Maréchal Pétain's Vichy State provide the role model for Battistelli's repressive regime at the EPO?



With Judgment no. 4430 [PDF], the ILOAT delivered on 7 July 2021, the ILOAT belatedly hammered another long overdue nail into the coffin of "le Système Battistelli" at the EPO, by striking down Circular No. 347 as manifestly unlawful.

This long-awaited judgment is good news for all those who opposed the tyrannical regime of Team Battistelli over the last decade.

While this significant legal victory is a cause for celebration, it should not be allowed to obscure the precarious legal situation of the staff of the EPO and other international organisations who are dependent on Tribunals like the ILOAT to defend their rights.

Notwithstanding the fact that Circular No. 347 has been found to breach the fundamental rights of EPO staff, it remained in force for eight years!

During this time it was used repeatedly to underpin the Corsican despot's managerialist "Reign of Terror" and impede any kind of internal dissent and collective action on the part of EPO staff against the excesses of the Office Administration.

Even more outrageous is the fact that at the time of the adoption of the Strike Regulations in 2013, the small number of delegations on the Administrative Council that made any attempt to evaluate the proposed measures had grave doubts about their compliance with international conventions.

An internal memorandum from the Norwegian Department of Labour dated 26 June 2013 [PDF] expressed the following opinion:

"The Department of Labour is therefore skeptical about a solution with an administrative regulation and about the content that, at a quick glance, seems extremely dubious in respect of its compliance with applicable international conventions."


But despite such clearly expressed reservations, the Administrative Council turned a blind eye to the palpable defects in the proposals tabled by Team Battistelli and - like a bunch of headless chickens - voted to adopt these manifestly flawed measures whose illegality has now been exposed for all to see.

Will any lessons be learned from this débâcle?

One would like to think so, but unfortunately the track record of the Administrative Council and the senior management of the Office over the last decade doesn't provide much reason for optimism on this front.

Recent Techrights' Posts

A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Several Webhosts (in Collaboration and Conjunction With Mentally-Ill Flunkies)
Every attempt to nuke the current hosting failed, but it's still worth noting
Google: We Don't Have Source Diversity, But We Have Chatbot Spew in Place of Sources (and It's Not Even Accurate)
Search engines and news search never looked this bad...
[Meme] Security is Not a Failure to Boot (or Illusion of Security Due to 'Unknown' System)
Red Hat is largely responsible for this mess
What is Secure Boot?
Security means the user feels safe and secure - i.e. confident that the machine would continue to work following a reboot or a system upgrade (or kernel upgrade)
Links 27/05/2024: Chatbots Generate Hateful Output, TPM Performance Scrutinised
Links for the day
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
 
Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
[Meme] Elephant in the Asian Room
With ChromeOS included GNU/Linux is at 6% across Asia
GNU/Linux in Bangladesh Up From 0.5% to Over 4% (Windows Slid From 95% to 18%)
Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely-populated countries
Links 27/05/2024: One Month Left for ICQ, More Openwashing Highlighted
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Back to GNU/Linux, Librem 5 Assessed
Links for the day
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Mostly Recovered From a Day's Downtime (Malfunction)
Some of the material we've published based on the statCounter datasets truly annoys Microsofters
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Been Broken for Nearly 24 Hours. Who Benefits? Microsoft.
StatCounter is broken right now and has been broken for nearly 24 hours already
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Old "Tweets"
This was basically an act of vandalism no better and no worse than UEFI restricted boot
Links 26/05/2024: Google 'Search' Morphing Into Disinformation Factory, Discussion of Maze of the Prison Industrial Complex
Links for the day
In the Pacific (Mostly Islands Around Oceania) GNU/Linux Grew a Lot
Microsoft cannot compete fairly
A Toast to Tux Machines
Food ready for the party, no photos yet...
IBM/Red Hat Failing to Meet Its WARN Obligations in NC (STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA), or Perhaps It's Constantly Delaying the Layoffs
IBM isn't named even once
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 25, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 25, 2024
GNU/Linux in Greenland
The sharp increases for GNU/Linux started last summer
The Sheer Absurdity of the EPO's Career System Explained by EPO Staff
"Staff representation has previously pointed this out to management, and the career system has been the reason for several industrial actions and litigation cases initiated by SUEPO."
[Meme] Productivity Champ Nellie Simon: It Takes Me 3+ Weeks to Write 6 Paragraphs
Congrats to Nellie Simon!
It Took EPO Management 3+ Weeks to Respond to a Letter About an Urgent Problem (Defunding of EPO Staff)
The funny thing about it is that Nellie Simon expects examiners to work day and night (which is illegal) while she herself takes 3+ weeks to write a 1-page letter
Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) in The Hague Taking Action to Rectify Cuts to Families of Workers
they "are active in challenging this measure via the legal system"
Links 25/05/2024: Microsoft Adds More DRM (Screenshot Blocking), Another Microsoft Outage Takes Down Everything
Links for the day
Gemini Links 25/05/2024: "Bill Smugs" and OpenBSD Mirror Over Tor / I2P
Links for the day
Microsoft #1 in Gaming Layoffs, Laid Off Workers Receive Another Insult From Microsoft
Many of them never chose to work for Microsoft
In New Caledonia Windows is Now Below 30% (It Used to be Over 90%)
Microsoft's Windows absolutely collapsing and the measures are relatively stable
Forget About India's and Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons and Armament Race, They Need to Abscond Windows and Microsoft (Security Swiss Cheese)
Both countries would be wise to remove Windows as soon as possible, irrespective of the local party politics
statCounter: GNU/Linux Rose From 0.2% to Over 3% in Pakistan
GNU/Linux "proper" (i.e. not ChromeOS) has the lion's share
Red tape: farmer concerns eerily similar to Debian suicide cluster deaths
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Galway street artists support social media concerns
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 25/05/2024: Section 230 and Right of Publicity Violations by Microsoft (Which Attacks Performance Artists)
Links for the day
[Meme] No Microsoft
For fun!
Microsoft Windows Falls to New Lows in Poland
It may mean people delete Windows from relatively new PC
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: An Introduction
The campaign of coercion (or worse) started in 2021
The "D" in Debian Stands for Dictatorship That Extends to Censorship at DNS Level
Of course the registrar, which charged for domains until 2025, just went along with it
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Getting Stacked by Microsoft
it lets Microsoft write policies
The Parasitic Nature of Microsoft Contracts
Stop feeding the beast
Gemini Links 25/05/2024: Emacs Windows 2000 Screenshots and Little Languages
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 24, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, May 24, 2024