EPO : the abuse continues
As you may remember, USF has been active for years reporting on the deleterious atmosphere which EPO staff face due to the fact that the current management does not respect the Rule of Law.
Indeed numerous restrictions of Fundamental Rights have already occurred at EPO under the chairmanship of French Benoit Battistelli (e.g. violations of the freedom of speech, of the right of association, unhealthy work pressure on both staff (five suicides in the past four years) and their representatives, a widely condemned witch-hunt targeting union officials from SUEPO, etc.
In 2016, no less than three SUEPO officials were fired following discreditable procedures during which their most basic rights of defence were blatantly denied (the officials are now challenging their unfair dismissal but such procedures take years at ILO-AT). A fourth official was heavily downgraded, also based on malicious accusations.
This unprecedented list of sanctions against staff representatives and union officials happened in less than a single calendar year (adding to others who had been penalised in 2015 and 2014). Needless to say that the erratic decisions of Mr Battistelli set a sad new low in the normally discrete world of international organisations.
Several major Staff Organisations e.g. USF, FICSA, EPSU, ECB, CERN, ILO etc. have publicly expressed their support for and solidarity with EPO staff and their representatives.
Many of the most serious EU newspapers have reported the catastrophic situation at EPO over the past four years. Dozens of national and European Members of Parliament and PACE, stemming from the five biggest political groups, publicly denounced and questioned the EU Commission and their Parliament on how could something like this could be allowed to happen in the heart of Europe. So far their outrage has been to no avail : EPO’s management is abusing its functional immunity by using it as a shield.
USF will continue to keep you informed. We will continue to denounce the abuses at EPO which are not acceptable in a democratic Europe in 2017. USF continues to support EPO staff, their representatives and not least SUEPO Officials and members.