Patent office workers plan industrial action


Members of the SUEPO trade union at the European Patent Office (EPO) have voted for industrial action, including a “work to rule”, “go slow” and a strike on 22 March. The union is calling for the restoration of fundamental rights at the EPO and the suspension or reversal of major reforms that have been detrimental to working conditions and wellbeing of staff. There have been longstanding problems with asserting trade union rights at the EPO with a former director intervening in the trade union’s internal affairs and blocking the right to strike. The International Labour Organisation has ruled in the union’s favour on the exercise of fundamental rights and the union’s action will also seek improvements in relation to careers, pay and training.

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