11.23.16

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European Patent Office Workers Take Action Against ‘Tyrannical’ Director

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Werknemers Europees Octrooibureau voeren actie tegen 'tirannie' directeur

Summary: Translation of the article “Werknemers Europees Octrooibureau voeren actie tegen ‘tirannie’ directeur,” which was published earlier today ahead of tomorrow’s protest

ARTICLES are beginning to surface ahead of tomorrow’s EPO protest. Managing IP (MIP), for instance, wrote just over 8 hours ago that “EPO staff will be demonstrating in The Hague from 12 noon tomorrow in solidarity with staff who have been dismissed/downgraded…”

We could use a Luxembourgian translation into English of this additional new article, but in the mean time all we have is this article‘s translation into English, courtesy of Petra Kramer [PK]:

European Patent Office workers take action against ‘tyranny’ director

THE HAGUE – Employees of the European Patent Office (EPO) in Rijswijk will go campaigning against their director Benoît Battistelli on Thursday. Reported that the FNV. The demonstration is to start at 12:00 on Square 1813 in The Hague.

The reason for the action is the poor relationship between the staff and director Battistelli. The situation at the EPO has long been troubled. Hundreds of people already made known their displeasure over the working atmosphere in April and January. The immediate reason for one of the demonstrations was then the dismissal of two colleagues and the demotion of a third.

Again, the staff speaks of “tyranny” of the director. “Battistelli rules with an iron fist and tolerates no participation or contradiction. He dismisses people at will, demotes them, and unilaterally implements changes to working conditions and demotivates if the entire organization,” the FNV said.

Dutch government

FNV director Marieke Manschot, does not understand why the Dutch government does not intervene. “Surely it can not mean that the Dutch government allows such abuses on its own territory? If this had occurred at a Dutch employer, the world would have been too small ["to contain all the outrage, there's that expression again" ~PK].”

“Battistelli cannot be allowed to hide behind immunity” says Manschot. “It is high time that Van Dam State acts and stands up for the employees of the EPO. The FNV strongly supports these employees.”

Reorganization and dialogue

A spokesman for the EPO said in January that Battistelli is engaged in a major reorganization to modernize the organization. “That of course leads to a reaction by the staff. Everyone has difficulty with change. ” He denied that there is a culture of fear.

The protesters want Martijn van Dam State Secretary for Economic Affairs action against Battistelli. The State Secretary said in April that they “engaged in a dialogue” at the insistence of the Member States of the European Patent Organisation (EPO) between the top of the EPO and the unions. Van Dam had to admit then that the dialogue was difficult. ["An understatement as we all know Battistelli stormed out of that meeting" ~PK.]

We have a lot more coverage coming tonight and tomorrow. We shall focus on the EPO until the weekend.

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