Dutch daily newspaper de Volkskrant carried a story yesterday which will sadden and dishearten readers of this blog. For the fifth time in recent years, Anneke Stoffelen reports, an employee at the European Patent Office (EPO) has ended his or her own life.
Merpel wishes to convey the sympathies of the entire IPKat blog team to the family, friends and colleagues of this person.
Merpel's objective is not to report here the ins and outs of the argument between the staff union SUEPO and EPO President Benoît Battistelli arising from this tragedy. An automated translation is here if you wish to read the newspaper’s account of the differing views.
Nobody knows what factors may have been at work before any individual suicide. However, when questions are raised as to whether a workplace may have been a factor, there must be a moral obligation on those entrusted with running the organisation to satisfy themselves -- and their employees -- that the organisation is doing everything it can to prevent further tragedies. Permitting an independent investigation into working conditions and the morale of employees is the necessary first step in that process.
Given the subject-matter of this post, please exercise restraint if you are going to comment, and think twice before saying anything that may be hurtful or inflammatory to ANYBODY. Merpel will be moderating comments on this subject very heavily, whether they are made in response to this post or any other. Should she feel that any comment is inappropriate or distasteful for any reason, it will be removed without debate. This applies particularly to any comment purporting to ascribe personal blame for this tragedy.
EPO the focus of Dutch newspaper article following suicide Reviewed by Merpel on Friday, September 11, 2015 Rating: