Gross violations of trade union rights at the European Patent Office - demonstrations erupt

28 January 2016 EPO staff The Hague, demonstration against threats and dismissal staff representatives of union SUEPO, part of USF

(28 January 2016) The European Patent Office boss Battestelli has dismissed trade union representatives. They worked in the office in Munich. Protests broke out in all offices in Munchen, Vienna, The Hague, Berlin. They continue with a protest in the Netherlands, 28 January. Staff walked from the French embassy to the Germany embassy. They demand action of the governments. The actions are organised by SUEPO, a member of USF, the trade union for workers in European agencies, European Central Bank and the European institutions.
Dutch EPSU affiliate FNV and EPSU are supporting the actions.

Patent Office boss Battestelli acts as tyrant it is claimed. The root of the problem is that he, and the board that appointed him, do not believe that European and international fundamental rights apply to staff. This leads to a legal no-man's land and to impunity. Battestelli can act like an ambassador that mistreats and exploits (usually a his) staff and claim diplomatic immunity. Ambassadors try to avoid having to be accountable for sexual harassment or even sexual exploitation. Battestelli seeks to do the same. A Dutch court has argued this is not the case and recognised European and international standards such as of the ILO and the European Social Charter apply. The director rejects this interpretation. He is supported in his lawlessness by the Dutch government. It is supporting an appeal of EPO in front of a higher Dutch court. The verdict is outstanding. EPSU and FNV have complained with the Dutch government. Questions have been raised by Members of the European Parliament and the Dutch Parliament. The European Commission is implicated as the EPO acts for certain tasks on a mandate from the European Commission, and uses EU tax payers money to finance such lawlessness. EPSU has contacted the office of European Commissioner for Social Affairs for a strong signal. Such people can not remain in office.

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