03.04.16

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“FFPE-EPO Was Set up About 9 Years Ago With Management Encouragement”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yellow unions
Article: The New Face of Unionbusting

Summary: FFPE-EPO as discussed in an anonymous forum over at IP Kat right now

THE comments at IP Kat, including comments about EPO rumours, have resumed (being an anti-censorship activist, I eventually wrote several E-mails to IP Kat, only after people had told me that IP Kat wasn’t publishing their comments, in effect deleting them). There is a lot of telling/revealing stuff inside some of these comments and we highlight in yellow (see below) what people probably deserve to know about FFPE-EPO (while bearing in mind it’s unverified). We also add some comments about FFPE-EPO, which looks to us like a yellow EPO union, based on a growing mass of evidence.

Oh oh, Sam, now you have signed your pact with the devil. And there is no getting out before the end of Old Nick’s term. Ik heb medelijden met je.

The following article about being a democratic union combining with the President’s desire for transparency and openness should of course mean that they will reveal how many members they have and how many actually voted in favour of signing the MoU. My sources suggest less than 30 for the second one.

Of course, BB does like to dismiss staff opposition to his reforms as being a small minority (which appears to ignore previous overwhelming strike ballots and numerous demonstrations, but never mind…) rather than dealing with the issues. Interesting to see how he portrays the numbers here when he has an agreement with, ahem, a small minority of staff.

And yes there does seem to be a problem via-a-via the open “to all members of staff ” bit. But never mind – his game, his rules. There’s only one person to appeal to and that’s… Doh! Well I didn’t want to join their union anyway.

FFPE does not qualify as a recognisable union under the MoU also because they do not have elected staff representatives. According to Art. 9.2 they should not even be eligible to sign the MoU.

S hould the final days of this regime?
T erminate in chaos for Battistelli’s team

H is support is slipping,and I don’t mean the truss
E ven his top managers are jumping off the bus
L ovely,delictable Josephine has even taken fright
E lizabeth II followed his quote ‘not to knight’
N ext stop the job centre in St Germain-en-Laye
A nd long suffering Eponians live to fight another day

I do not understand how the FFPE-EPO could sign the MoU because they do not have a single elected staff representative, as is clearly required by Article 9.2 of the MoU as a prerequisite for signing.

Also it should be noted that they were set up in order to defend the interests of dutch staff members in The Hague – nothing wrong about that, but not in line with the spirit of Article 7 of the MoU.

A MoU with a “local” union, having only members in The Hague (exactly how many?) might be a pretext for the President to claim that he has reached the goal set by the AC and its Board 28. It is nothing more than a fig leaf, and it also reminds me of Lenin’s words: useful idiots.

Only if the president comes to terms with a Union having about half the staff as members, that he will be able to say mission accomplished. We are very far from this.
Board 28 did also ask for an external enquiry on the charges against SUEPO officials and suspension of the sanctions. Where are we there?

What about the standstill with respect to staffing of DG3? Those are crucial questions which need a quick reply and not some self-laudatory message.

From the statements given in writing by the EPO to Bavarian television it was made clear that the “Investigation Unit” is merely an administrative fact finding unit, hence there is no need to be assisted by a lawyer. May be this could be right, but does certainly not excuse the massive misuse of this unit against staff especially staff representatives.

That family members did not want an enquiry which possibly showed a link between the suicide of their relative and the atmosphere at the EPO, has a very simple explanation. Any subsistence, education allowances, medical coverage would have been severed immediately. Can a wife afford this, especially when there are children?

In the story on Bavarian television excerpts of the interview of VP1 were shown. What is to hold from a “manager” when he says without any hesitation that the Dutch High Court may decide what it wants, it will simply disregard it. He also claims that actions against the head of SUEPO are pure coincidence.

That things had to change at the EPO is not at stake here. But it did not warrant what happened.

@old man: The relevant request by B28 calls specifically for agreement with both unions, actually present in the EPO and names them as well. So one out of two may be a first step, but certainly not enough. The president will most probably say that he made the gesture, one union has signed and the others – the mafia as he called them – have not and it is not his fault. Impressive was, though that there were several reports in the press about this signing and in all of them the size of FFPE Compared to Suepo was commented upon. It looks like the PR gag did not really work as planned…

The agreement with FFPE was predictable from the start of the Union recognition talks. In fact, I predicted it in a comment on this blog at the time.

As sharp-eyed commenters have noticed, FFPE fails two criteria of the agreement, making the so-called “breakthrough” even more absurd. Normally there is also another criterion in Union-employer agreements, namely a minimum percentage of the employees that must be represented by the union (for obvious reasons). Of course it is vastly more than 1%.

The fact that the President is actually ignoring the text of his own MoU in order to enable FFPE to sign it is a laughable sign of his desperation.

FFPE-EPO was set up about 9 years ago with management encouragement, with the hope that it would provide a viable and more tractable alternative to SUEPO. It was accorded facilities, such as its own premises in the EPO, always denied to SUEPO. It never attracted much support, even in The Hague, where some of its policies were specifically targetted at Dutch employees. Since then it has been moribund, if not actually dead.

The management strategy of sponsoring ing a tame union failed then, as it will fail now.

FFPE-EPO did help the EPO in preparing their defense (with the success we know) in front of the Dutch court by submitting them documents which were popping up in the dossier …..

also an interesting post on Techrights on the matter : http://techrights.org/2016/03/03/ffpe-epo-vs-suepo/

FFPE finally a union that supports management

Then a lone voice of pro-Battistelli party line:

Dear all,
Great to read that everybody knows exactly what happened when the FFPE-EPO was founded. There was no support from management, but if you say otherwise of course you are right. The facilities which were granted were minimal, and taken away when those for SUEPO were taken away.

The statutes of the FFPE-EPO do allow staff members from other sites to become a member. Please continue reading the statutes (article 20).

The FFPE-EPO is allowed to sign the MoU, the criteria in article 9 mention “or”. Any examiner knows than that the three criteria are not all required.

A critical reader.

To be rebutted by the following (mostly sarcastically/tongue-in-cheek):

(thank you for your comment. psst, tell any member of FFPE that if they really want staff from other sites to join, the real secret is to have one or two of their officials fired by the President with bogus accusations in kangaroo trials – it works like magics … )

Thanks for enlightening since the Web site page about Membership failed to mention that and Article 3 does not refer to Article 20 (maybe it would be useful to clarify that Article 3 isn’t complete?).
Since you are knowledgeable, perhaps you know:
a) How many members are there in The Hague (working)?
b) How many elsewhere under Article 20?
c) How many retired members?
d) How many members voted to sign the MoU (aiming there was a vote)?

Thanks in advance

Great to see that FFPE has taken the time to inform its members or anybody else why signing a MoU which allows them to send two – 2 – emails per year to all staff it’s really an historical moment – for them, or anybody else.

We shall leave it for readers to decide what’s going on here. We see a lot of the hallmarks of union-busting action by yellow unions (controlled opposition).

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