12.22.15

EPO Level of Trust Reaches All-Time Low: Workers Distrust the Available Phones in Their Offices, Use Mobiles Instead

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trust permanently lost because of foolish actions by the management

Summary: An anonymous letter to French national parliament reveals the level of distrust and disgust inside the EPO, where people no longer trust anyone

THE EPO has an atmosphere of revolt and based on comments we have been seeing, after the Control Risks fiasco examiners rightly assume that everything may be under surveillance at any time.

“Overworked people don’t always find the time to speak about their employer, especially when their employer makes them extremely overworked before Christmas.”Weeks ago we asked for a translation of a letter in French. Three people have offered a translation, but one beat the others to it. “I’m also surprised that the Exasperated examiners piece still isn’t translated,” wrote one of those three people, “I’ll see what I can do, perhaps between Xmas and New-year’s eve. But, hey, no promises.”

Overworked people don’t always find the time to speak about their employer, especially when their employer makes them extremely overworked before Christmas. Incidentally, the above person definitely does not work for the EPO. There are just a lot of people out there who are genuinely worried about the EPO.

Having published the original in French (sent to French politicians by examiners, not by a politician as we had thought because we lack the French polyglots), now we have the translation (with emphasis in larger fonts) below:

Munich, 30th of November 2015

FRENCH NATIONAL PARLIAMENT
For the attention of Mr. Le Borgn’, MP
Rue de l’Université 126
75355 Paris 07
France

Dear Member of the Parliament,

First let us express our gratitude for your courageous stances and your actions to restore justice and morality in the European Patent Office.

“The accusations raised by the Office do not seem at all to rely on solid grounds, and were formally refuted by German lawyers.”Twice already the Administrative Council of the Office asked President Battistelli to resume a social dialogue. His answer was the obviously unjustified layoff of three elected leaders of our union, the SUEPO. Investigations were initiated against them. The accusations raised by the Office do not seem at all to rely on solid grounds, and were formally refuted by German lawyers. Legal sources mentioned by the Office are currently unknown and questionable, to say the least. No credible counterarguments seem to have been presented which would defeat the conclusions made by the SUEPO lawyers. In The Hague, members of the SUEPO and Staff Representatives were also subjected to interrogations where they had to endure an unacceptable psychological stress. In a letter sent you, President Battistelli says that these sessions were recorded. A question immediately arises: what is the legality of such recordings? The investigative units assigned to these investigations and interrogations have an unacceptable inquisitorial power, completely outside the framework of ethics and legal guarantees of security applying to their citizens in modern European democracies.

“It is time to put an end to this culture of contempt of staff and that the Administrative Council finally makes its voice heard in this direction.”Through these SUEPO leaders, 7000 EPO officials are offended by the actions of President Battistelli. Within two hours, a demonstration was organized gathering 2000 people in front of the “Isar” building, the Office headquarters. Given the number of employees in Munich, this is huge .. and of course this is what President Battistelli probably will still dare to call “a minority”. Indignation and disgust are at their pinnacle. It is time to put an end to this culture of contempt of staff and that the Administrative Council finally makes its voice heard in this direction.

We are tired of being treated like the livestock of President Battistelli. We all graduated from the most prestigious schools and universities, and many of our colleagues are holders of a doctoral degree. Most of them came from industry, where they held responsibility or management positions. They could certainly provide the Office managers with useful lessons and actually teach them good practices in this area.

“It should come as no surprise that, in this toxic environment, disillusioned colleagues react more and more by “internal resignation” and some have already expressed that, in morning, it is with hatred to their employer that they walk through the doors of the Office.”Full of fear and suspicion, the working atmosphere is more than sinister. Who in this Office has further confidence in their computer or copy machines, sometimes even in their colleagues? We have come to distrust the available phones in our offices so much that, to communicate on the most trivial subjects, our colleagues use their cellular phones, not without having cast a sweeping glance around them to ensure that their conversation is not heard. The trust has completely disappeared in the relationships between employees and management hierarchy: wrongly or rightly, we are constantly afraid of being victims of a dirty trick. It should come as no surprise that, in this toxic environment, disillusioned colleagues react more and more by “internal resignation” and some have already expressed that, in morning, it is with hatred to their employer that they walk through the doors of the Office.

With the greatest concern, we note that intimidation measures to journalists or “bloggers” are orchestrated by the Office, and are mentioned in the “Net”, see for instance,

http://techrights.org/2015/11/27/epo-reputation-laundering/
http://techrights.org/2015/11/27/epo-information-warfare/

This source, as well as internal reliable informations, appear to clearly indicate that the Office has now released a budget of around €800,000 for press campaigns. How and for what purposes these considerable amounts of public money will be used? This question does not appear to be of concern to the Administrative Council. The management of the Office is not reluctant to drag through the mud staff members who express a dissenting opinion, especially in the case of trade union officials or staff representation. Would be the next step to muzzle the press and silence critics through campaigns of slander and intimidation, or abuse of European Justice Courts to achieve these ends?

“Would be the next step to muzzle the press and silence critics through campaigns of slander and intimidation, or abuse of European Justice Courts to achieve these ends?”We would like to sign this letter of our real names, but alas! You are aware that the Office has won the services of the disturbing firm “Control Risks”, apparently involved in a number of scandals concerning illegal spying on journalists, customers and employees in German firms. The fear that, being known, we could be the victims of an implacable revenge is well founded.

The Office must respect Law and Justice as they exist in modern European democracies. We do not want more than the restoration of our rights and respect for our honour.

Yours faithfully,

Exasperated examiners.

One of the three people who offered this translation (there are more translations from French on their way) said: “you were awaiting the translation of a letter in French addressed to an MP. Here is the translation. As always the translation might not be perfect and my apologies for the poor formatting. Thanks again for all the good work.” We made very slight (trivial) amendment to the text above. If there are errors in it, please point them out in the comments below.

Now that we can read the above letter (and have published its translation) we can clearly see that Battistelli’s intimidation/silencing attempts against the member of parliament only brought out the worse of him. Moreover, it made staff of the EPO even more angry. That’s Streisand Effect.

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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2015/12/22/trust-lost-now-distrust-at-epo/

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