back to article Euro patent office strike

An estimated 2,700 employees – 40 per cent of all staff – at the European Patent Office went on strike Thursday, representing a significant challenge to EPO president Benoît Battistelli. The strike decision passed last month with a 91 per cent approval rate. It was called to protest the EPO management's treatment of staff …

  1. x 7

    sack the lazy feckers, the rest can then actually start doing some work.

    To be honest we'd be better off without them - just make the national patent office harmonise policies instead

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So the ones who went on strike are "lazy feckers"? How do you work that out?

      So, how would "we be better off without them"? Without who? The ones who went on strike, or the whole EPO?

      This is a classic case of "open mouth, insert foot", posted by a fecking retard who has zero understanding of the problems at hand, and even less interest in finding out. I'm amazed that a idiot like you is even able to use a computer without dribbling all over the keyboard...

      1. x 7

        spoken like a true anonymous coward. I bet you're one of the workshy morons to pretend to work there. Someone comes along, tries to kick you into the 20th century (let alone the 21st) and you're all appalled at the thought of having to work for your money.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So your name is really x7? Somehow I doubt it. If you had the slightes idea of what was going on inside the EPO, you would understand why EPO employees have to post anonymously.

          You clearly have no idea what you are talking about, or don't care, and are either an idiot troll or an EPO management stooge. Either way, you are making yourself look a bit pathetic with your lame postings, as they display a lack of intellect. No wonder you shelter behind an alias, as no-one in their right mind would want their real name associated with the drivel you insist on posting.

          So, you assert that all EPO employees are lazy. What gives you the right to make such a wild and inaccurate statement? Where's your evidence? Come on, either put up or shut up.

          As you are probably too lazy to bother, I will present you with a summary that I posted some time ago:


          As a long-time employee of the EPO, I would agree that some change was needed, but not the wholesale changes that we have seen. There was certainly no need to do it with the blatant hostility in which the President (BB) has approached the task.

          What BB has been very clever about has been keeping secret the REALLY negative changes that he has introduced. For example:

          * Examiner targets have increased by an average of 20% in the last 2 years; this is both disrespectful of the work that is done, shows very little understanding of the nature of the work, and is unsustainable in the long term.

          * If your doctor says you are sick, and even if the in-house doctors agree, the President may decide otherwise.

          * If you become too ill to work, you are not allowed to leave your country of employment until either you have been off work for 10 years, or have reached the age of 55. Also, during this period, you are effectively under house-arrest, as you MUST be at home between 10 and 12, and 2 and 4, just in case they decide to check up on you. Going away/on holiday requires explicit permission from the Office.

          * The Investigative Unit (IU, in house Gestapo-like organisation, supported by an external British counter-terrorism company) listens to everything, or at least we suspect that they do. No-one says anything "risky" by phone or email, just in case.

          * If you are under investigation, you are compelled to cooperate, and may tell NO-ONE that you are being investigated. However, the Office may decide to "leak" information to tame press organisations, if it suits them. Once the investigation concludes (or even before), there is a hearing, where the person being investigated has no legal support. The President may ignore the conclusions of the disciplinary commitee (he invariably does) and impose a harsher sanction than recommended; in this regard, the President and his henchwoman, the head of HR (Elodie Bergot, PD4.3), is judge, jury and executioner. There is no legal recourse, apart from a lengthy 8-10 year wait before a case is heard at the ILO in Switzerland.

          * Funnily enough, EVERYONE targeted and punished by the IU so far has been a staff/Union rep, despite it having been set up to investigate fraud and harrassment.

          * The lower court in Holland told the EPO that they must not prevent the Union from being able to operate within the Office, but the EPO just said "hey, we're the EPO", and proceeded to ignore it. A higher court has heard the case, and is currently mulling over what it has heard. It doesn't matter, because VP1 has said publicly that EPO will ignore any decision taken by the courts. The next stop will be the European Court of Human Rights.

          * After all this, the Administrative Council (AC) has finally decided to act, less than a year after extending BB's mandate. Board 28 now intends to send a letter to the AC, in which BB will be censured for his lack of cooperation, and for having specifically ignored instructions from the AC. To "support" BB, an incredibly badly-written letter has been sent from VP1's office, which all Principal Directors and Directors have been "invited" to sign. In this letter, it is stated that management and staff are committed to the changes introduced by BB, which is a joke. To their credit, it appears that very few PDs and Directors are prepared to sign this piece of toilet-paper. This effectively amounts to a vote of no confidence in VP1, who has most definitely not covered himself in glory in recent months and is looking increasingly out-of-touch.

          Sorry to go on for so long, but these are issues that I felt worth pointing out, as they have been glossed over in many of the articles published recently. I guess fundamentally the question is, is an International Organisation like the EPO able to take away all of your human rights, simply because the pay more than average? Logically, the answer is no, but it may take a while before the exact limits of the EPO's immunity is established.


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