CONCORD Issues Additional Agent Licenses Due to Professional and Corporate Demands

By Svarthol

Yulai – CONCORD authorities responsible for licensing and auditing the activities of station agents have agreed to issue an additional 23 licenses for highly-qualified agents, as a result of lobbying from the Association of Market and Contract Brokers (AMCB) and major empire corporations. The AMCB negotiators had pointed to a considerable increase in the demand for agents in a number of key hubs and lobbied very hard to relieve the pressures on the agents it represents, mainly Gallente and Minmatar professionals.

Originally a professional body for market brokers dealing with negotiations with the SCC over terms and conditions, the AMCB had expanded to represent contract brokers, recently changing its name to reflect this. Following some high-profile cases of station agents making severe errors or engaging in criminality, the pressure on agents to conform to CONCORD regulations while serving the needs of corporations and pilots increased considerably. Coming from a wide range of corporate backgrounds, many agents were unable to agree on how to put their concerns to CONCORD until Julius Scarpacchio, President of the AMCB, suggested to an Intaki acquaintance working as an agent that his organization was well-placed to represent agents' interests.

Initially representing a bloc of Gallente agents, the AMCB was soon able to prove its value by negotiating a comprehensive package of compensation for agents who were forced to move locations due to CONCORD re-organization of routes and stations. Joined by more Gallente and many Minmatar agents, the AMCB then embarked on a six-month period of negotiation with CONCORD on behalf of agents in major hubs.

Parallel pressure was also exerted on CONCORD by a number of Caldari State and Amarr Empire corporations, whose agents were not represented by the AMCB. CONCORD insiders have indicated, however, that the State and Empire corporations preferred to allow the high-profile lobbying to be done by the AMCB, possibly to capitalize on the perception that this was primarily an issue of maintaining agent integrity and professional welfare. The process of lobbying by corporations and the AMCB culminated in an agreement to issue 23 high-level agent licenses for positions in various empire hubs.

Julius Scarpacchio commented on the agreement, "It has been a long road and at times a hard battle but I am pleased to say that the needs of our agent members have been recognized and CONCORD has acted on them." Asked if a further name change would be forthcoming for the AMCB, Scarpacchio indicated that it was quite likely but would be a matter for the membership’s consideration. CONCORD issued a statement through its public relations office stating that, "Agreement has been reached with the empires, corporations and professionals on further high-level agent licenses, to the number of 23, which we believe will benefit agents, their employers and pilot contractors."