Here’s my take on the HSBC share price, and it’s not what you’d expect

first_img Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Jonathan Smith | Thursday, 2nd July, 2020 | More on: HSBA “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Jonathan Smith does not own shares in any firm mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended HSBC Holdings. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Here’s my take on the HSBC share price, and it’s not what you’d expect Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.center_img It’s a tough time to be a bank right now. Banking stocks within the FTSE 100 have taking a pounding this year. This is especially true of the HSBC (LSE: HSBA) share price, down some 36% from the beginning of the year. With a fair few investors expecting the stock to fall even further in coming months, I thought it time to consolidate my take on HSBC.HSBC share price: a quick reviewFor readers unfamiliar with what’s happened to the share price of late, it has fallen steadily since last summer. One main catalyst for this was the protests in Hong Kong. The disruption they caused to the economy was large and negative, and with Hong Kong being the largest market for the bank, this had an obvious impact.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…As we headed into the end of last year, Q3 results showed net profit down 24%. Rumors then surfaced of a huge planned restructure of the bank. Part of this would include job cuts, which was later confirmed as being over 35,000 redundancies. The bank said that this was to enable it to focus on the profitable areas of the business.The HSBC share price has therefore continued to tumble. Even income investors (who had been buying the stock due to an 8%+ dividend yield earlier this year) have turned less positive after the bank cut the dividend payout in April. The end result sees the share price trade around 385p, from a level of 670p last July.My take on the futureI think the HSBC share price is actually oversold at the moment, and I feel that way for several reasons. Firstly, the global restructure will be a longer-term positive. This can be seen with other large firm restructures over the past few decades. Cutting costs, along with unprofitable areas of the business, and focusing on the future is not a bad thing. I understand the short-term hit with job losses and uncertainty is terrible to go through, but it will serve the overall business well in the long term.The hit to revenues from the primary market in Asia (mostly Hong Kong) could also be a short-term one. The unrest within the area has somewhat calmed from last year. This leads me to conclude that the market in Hong Kong can remain a sweet spot for the bank to generate profits going forward. However, tensions remain, so there’s some uncertainty here and HSBC will have to be skilled at navigating the difficult ethical issues that it could face.Finally, I don’t see the dividend cut being a unique factor encouraging holders to sell HSBC shares alone. Many FTSE 100 firms planned dividend cuts over the past few months. This is nothing unique to the bank, and indeed, it simply followed guidance from the Bank of England. So again, for the longer term, a resumption of dividend payments when the time is right should aid the share price.Yes, the HSBC share price is under pressure and many are selling their HSBC stock. But I’d do the opposite. I’d hold on to existing shares, and even look to buy into the bank if I wasn’t already invested. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Image source: Getty Images. Enter Your Email Address Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. See all posts by Jonathan Smithlast_img read more

Emiliano Zapata Building / HGR Arquitectos

first_imgArchitects: HGR Arquitectos Area Area of this architecture project Photographs CopyAbout this officeHGR ArquitectosOfficeFollowProductsConcreteBrick#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousingApartmentsMexico CityMexicoPublished on August 14, 2017Cite: “Emiliano Zapata Building / HGR Arquitectos” [Edificio Emiliano Zapata / HGR Arquitectos] 14 Aug 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogSinkshansgroheBathroom Mixers – FocusGlass3MGlass Finish – FASARA™ Fabric/WashiPartitionsSkyfoldVertically Folding Operable Walls – Mirage®WoodParklex International S.L.Wood Finishes in Landaburu BordaSinksBradley Corporation USASinks – Frequency® FL-SeriesMetallicsTrimoFire Resistant Panel – Trimoterm FTVSkylightsVELUX CommercialModular Skylights – Northlight 40-90°SinksAcquabellaSink – LeviCurtain WallsRabel Aluminium SystemsMinimal Curtain Wall – Rabel 35000 Slim Super ThermalWoodBlumer LehmannData Processing for Wood ProjectsPorcelain StonewareCeramiche KeopeCeramic Tiles – EvokeChairs / StoolsBassamFellowsSpindle Chair and StoolMore products »Save想阅读文章的中文版本吗?5个天井,10个私人屋顶花园,这个公寓太不真实了 Edificio Emiliano Zapata / HGR Arquitectos是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream Emiliano Zapata Building / HGR Arquitectos ArchDaily CopyApartments•Ciudad de México, Mexico Save this picture!© Diana Arnau+ 30 Share Area:  3504 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/877591/emiliano-zapata-building-hgr-arquitectos Clipboard Emiliano Zapata Building / HGR ArquitectosSave this projectSaveEmiliano Zapata Building / HGR Arquitectos Photographs:  Diana Arnau Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project center_img Apartments Year:  “COPY” Manufacturers: Daltile, Cappa, Construlita, Escenium HAUS, Firenze, Gravita, Llano de la Torre, Novaceramic, Saint JohannArchitect In Charge:Marcos HagermanExecutive Drawing:Rodrigo Durán, Cocoy ArenasGraphic Design:LEOLABDeveloper:Ciudad VerticalStructural Design:Mata y Triana Ingenieros ConsultoresFacilities:zMP InstalacionesCity:Ciudad de MéxicoCountry:MexicoMore SpecsLess SpecsSave this picture!© Diana ArnauRecommended ProductsFiber Cements / CementsApavisaTiles – Nanofusion 7.0DoorsSaliceSliding Door System – Slider S20Fiber Cements / CementsRieder GroupFacade Panels – concrete skinDoorsSolarluxBi-Folding Doors – EcolineText description provided by the architects. EMILIANO ZAPATA is a six floor Housing Project with 25 units located in Eje 7 “A” Sur General Emiliano Zapata, on a central neighborhood of Mexico City. Save this picture!© Diana ArnauThe project proposes 25 apartments between 82 and 91sqm, which are divided internally through 5 central patios. Each patio separates the common area from the private area in each apartment. These areas are connected by bridges confined by a brick lattice that helps to give privacy and ventilation to each unit.Save this picture!© Diana ArnauSave this picture!Longitudinal SectionSave this picture!© Diana ArnauThe building functions as a single tower, having a single elevator core and an emergency staircase that flies along the entire eastern facade. Each level accommodates five apartments, which are accessed through an open corridor. The building has a lobby on the ground floor located at level +/- 0.00m, which is directly connected to the vertical circulation core. All living spaces have ventilation and natural lighting. The roof is equipped with 10 private roofgardens for the apartments of the fourth and fifth level.Save this picture!© Diana ArnauTo comply the 20% of free area that the city requires, five patios are accommodated at the center of the building. In each patio, a liquidambar tree was planted helping give privacy and better views to each apartment. On the other hand, on the east side, the building is separated from the surrounding houses, creating a long access courtyard. Save this picture!© Diana ArnauSave this picture!Type PlanSave this picture!© Diana ArnauThe whole building was designed with natural and durable materials such as brick, volcanic stone and wood. The proposed vegetation is endemic and requires little maintenance. Save this picture!© Diana ArnauWith this project we achieve that all the units have good privacy, lighting and acoustic insulation, even being next to a very busy avenue in Mexico City.Save this picture!© Diana ArnauProject gallerySee allShow less9 of the World’s Most Intrusive BuildingsArticlesCould This Micro Dwelling in Disguise Help Solve the Housing Crisis?Architecture NewsProject locationAddress:Gral. Emiliano Zapata, Portales Nte, Ciudad de México, CDMX, MexicoLocation to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Share ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/877591/emiliano-zapata-building-hgr-arquitectos Clipboard Projects 2017 Mexico “COPY”last_img read more

On the picket line

first_imgPhoenix bus drivers strike Veolia/Transdev“You always hear about workers versus evil corporations — this is that situation,” said Michael Cornelius, lead negotiator for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 at a press conference about a possible strike of 650 public transit bus drivers in Phoenix. (PhoenixNewTimes.com, Jan. 4) The union struck for seven days after negotiations with contractor Veolia/Transdev collapsed Jan. 8. At issue were wages, bathroom breaks and bereavement time.In anticipation of the strike, management canceled workers’ health insurance on Jan. 7, despite payments made by workers in advance. “I’m just disgusted. We’re human beings. Even if we have our differences, they have no integrity to do this to us,” said driver Gilbert Balderas, whose cancer treatment medications cost him $17,000 a month without insurance. (Jan. 12)On Jan. 15, the union reported on its Facebook page that a five-year contract had been ratified by an 85 percent majority vote and drivers would return to work the next day. By dropping 1 percent from the wage increase, Local 1433 was able to end a two-tier structure for vacations and retirement. “Now we can focus on the overall issue of the outsourcing of our public transit system,” said Local 1433.Seattle drivers for hire win union rightsThe Seattle City Council passed an ordinance unanimously on Dec. 14 extending collective bargaining rights to for-hire drivers. Typically classified as “independent contractors,” taxicab operators and drivers for services like Uber and Lyft are not protected by the National Labor Rights Act. As a result, these workers are often forced to work long hours for pay that falls well below the minimum wage. “Since I started driving for Uber, Uber has cut our pay without notice, terminated drivers without giving a reason and blocked our efforts to improve our working conditions,” said driver Peter Kuel. (TheStand.org, Dec. 15) Under the new law, drivers can elect union representation to negotiate for wages, hours and working conditions.“This bill means a lot to us drivers,” said Fasil Teka. “It can have a positive impact, not just for drivers in Seattle, but for independent contractors across the country.” The drivers worked with Teamsters Local 117, which represents 16,000 workers in Washington state, to form the App-Based Drivers Association and the Western Washington Taxicab Operators Association.NLRB strikes down Whole Foods regulatiomIn a Dec. 24 ruling, the National Labor Relations Board struck down a Whole Foods regulation barring workers from taking photographs or recording conversations with management on the job. In the 2-1 decision, the NLRB found that Whole Foods’ policy interfered with the workers’ legally protected right to document abuses and unsafe conditions and ordered the chain to cease enforcement of the regulation and to notify all employees of their rights. The complaint was filed by the Food and Commercial Workers and the Worker Organizing Committee of Chicago. (cbsnews.com, Dec. 29) Whole Foods appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Jan. 5. Stay tuned.AFL-CIO takes stand against sexual harassmentOn Oct. 8, the AFL-CIO and eight U.S. groups supporting women’s rights on the job sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel requesting that workplace policies of German corporation Deutsche Telekom that have been found to harm women workers in the U.S. be immediately rescinded. The appeal was sent to Merkel because the German government is a major shareholder (30 percent) in DT.Two independent NLRB cases initiated by the Communication Workers against T-Mobile, DT’s U.S. subsidiary (one decided last March, the other last August), found that company policies restricted U.S. employees’ rights to address sexual harassment and other abuses of power under U.S. law.An in-depth Reuters article reported Jan. 7 that the issue is still a hot topic. (“Deutsche Telekom under scrutiny over working conditions at U.S. arm T-Mobile”) However, the German finance ministry refused comment for the article.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Reporters Without Borders brands as harassment a 48-hour ban on NTV television

first_imgNews January 14, 2021 Find out more LebanonMiddle East – North Africa Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Follow the news on Lebanon RSF_en LebanonMiddle East – North Africa to go further Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information December 17, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders brands as harassment a 48-hour ban on NTV televisioncenter_img Lebanese journalist found shot dead in car News Reporters Without Borders has branded as harassment a 48-hour ban on news and political broadcasts on the independent New Television (NTV), in a letter to Lebanese information minister Michel Samaha. The ban began on 16 December at 15.00 hours.”The attitude of the Lebanese authorities towards the media, in particular broadcasters, is completely unacceptable. What type of state is it that carries out harassment campaigns against some media, going so for as to slap such an absurd ban on news programmes?” said Robert Ménard, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders.”Political, legal and governmental interference in the media have increased since the indefinite closure of Murr TV last year, leaving Lebanon as a pitiful example of press freedom for Arab countries. In addition, these obstacles have a disastrous impact on the work of journalists who feel themselves more and more watched and threatened by the authorities”, said Ménard. NTV was accused by the information ministry of breaking the broadcast media law by putting out “subjective” news about the resignation of one of its presenters, Dalia Ahmad. The television suggested on 12 December that the head of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon, Gen. Roustom Ghazalé, and the director general of the Lebanese Surete Generale, Gen. Jamil Sayyed, were involved in the journalist – a Sudanese national – being refused her work permit or residence permit.On 6 December, the owner of NTV, Tahsin Khayat, was arrested by military police for “suspected links with Israel”, before being released 24-hours later. Khayat accused the intelligence services of being behind his arrest, during which he had a number of documents seized.This harassment campaign against the television, known for its critical stance towards the government, could be linked to the exhaustive cover by NTV of a criminal case involving the Al-Medina bank, in which several political figures were implicated. February 4, 2021 Find out more Lebanon : Violence against reporters becoming more frequent in Lebanon News News Organisation November 11, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Violence against press during post-election protests

first_img MongoliaAsia – Pacific Reporters Without Borders calls on the Mongol authorities and political parties to protect journalists and guarantee media freedom after a series of incidents involving the press during violent demonstrations following the 29 June legislative elections.“We condemn the violence by demonstrators, who seriously injured three reporters,” the press freedom organisation said. “It is also very regrettable that the government chose to stop all of the capital’s TV stations, except the state TV, from broadcasting. Censorship is not the way to maintain law and order.”Several journalists were injured on the night of 1 July. B. Byamba-Ochir, a photographer with the Mongol newspaper Unuudur, and H. Erdenebulgan of the national radio and TV broadcaster were badly hurt while covering protests by opposition supporters in the capital. A Japanese journalist working for Fuji TV was attacked. All three were hospitalised with head injuries. A European photographer told Agence France-Presse he was also hit on the head.The headquarters of the newspapers Hummuussiin Amidral, Humuus and Unuudriin Mongol were all burned down in what were reported to be arson attacks.All TV stations except the state TV were ordered to stop broadcasting under a state of emergency decreed by the president on 1 July. Privately-owned Eagle TV continued to post reports on its website.Thousands of people staged violent street protests after the authorities announced that the ruling party won the elections and the opposition claimed there had been massive fraud. Five people were killed in Ulan Bator. UN human rights review on Mongolia: RSF urges members to join its call for press freedom reforms Receive email alerts Campaigns to go further Mongolia: RSF calls for media reform to tackle corruption RSF_en Follow the news on Mongolia Help by sharing this information June 7, 2021 Find out morecenter_img News MongoliaAsia – Pacific October 28, 2020 Find out more Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom News July 3, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Violence against press during post-election protests News Organisation June 2, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Former weapons instructor jailed for threatening children with gun

first_imgDenis O’Keeffe, Ballynanty Road was jailed for two yearsA RETIRED army weapons instructor who drew a revolver at two children because he “lost the rag”, has been jailed for two years at Limerick Circuit Court.Denis O’Keeffe, (54), with an address at Ballynanty Road, pleaded guilty to possessing a Webley revolver in suspicious circumstances on November 3, 2015.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The former soldier served with distinction on UN peace keeping missions in the Lebanon and Israel.When he was arrested and interviewed, he told Gardaí that when he produced the gun, the two children who were aged ten and twelve and “acting like bold little c***s”, ran off fearing for their lives.Det Garda Fergal Hanrahan said that he went to Mr O’Keeffe’s home after he received a report about the incident near a take-away on the Northside of the city.He found the defendant drunk and lying on the couch. Although the gun could be used, it was rusty and in poor condition.During interview, the 54-year-old said that as a retired firearms instructor in the army, he said dealing with guns was like cleaning his face.Mr O’Keeffe gave various accounts why he had the gun these included excuses of having it for his own protection; having it in memory of his son who owned it and had died some months previously; that he got it to repair.He also claimed that he brought it with him to the take-away for his own protection and kept it as a deterrent.When the two boys got smart with him, he pulled out the gun.“I lost my cool. Nobody was shot and nobody was going to get shot,” he said.Det Garda Hanrahan said their only concern was to find out why O’Keeffe had the gun.Defence Counsel Brian McInerney BL, said the gun was a rusty piece of metal and of World War One vintage.Refusing to debate the “historical nature of the gun, Judge Tom O’Donnell said “a gun is a gun, is a gun. Whether it goes back to the Siege of Limerick in 1691 and is a musket.“It was a working firearm and I must say I found his explanations puzzling,” he added.After reviewing the file, the Director of Public Prosecutions said that the offence was in the mid range of sentencing and that a prison term of between seven and ten years would be appropriate.Imposing a four year sentence, with the final two years suspended, Judge O’Donnell said that Mr O’Keefe had been described as a Walter Mitty type character and had lost a son in tragic circumstances. Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Linkedin Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live NewsFormer weapons instructor jailed for threatening children with gunBy Staff Reporter – June 28, 2017 1622 WhatsApp Print Previous articleSuper Sharp Shooters: Wardance crew celebrate three years and a Subtle Audio releaseNext article‘Forgiveness’ will be key to Keary’s mayoralty Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Email Denis O’Keeffe, Ballynanty Road was jailed for two years Advertisement Facebook TAGSarmyDenis O’Keefelimerickweapons instructor Twitterlast_img read more

[Breaking] 7-Judge Committee Suggests Resumption Of Limited Physical Hearing In SC

first_imgTop Stories[Breaking] 7-Judge Committee Suggests Resumption Of Limited Physical Hearing In SC Nilashish Chaudhary19 Aug 2020 7:37 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court Registry has written to the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) communicating the decision of the 7-Judges Committee to resume physical hearings in a limited manner, subject to the decision of the ‘competent authority’.In the communication addressed to the President of SCAORA, it is informed that the Supreme Court Judges Committee has recommended that three…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court Registry has written to the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) communicating the decision of the 7-Judges Committee to resume physical hearings in a limited manner, subject to the decision of the ‘competent authority’.In the communication addressed to the President of SCAORA, it is informed that the Supreme Court Judges Committee has recommended that three of the biggest court rooms in Supreme Court be readied to accommodate physical hearings on a trial basis, as a pilot project. The Committee, which was constituted on July 22 to look into the possibility of resuming physical hearings, arrived at this decision subsequent to a meeting held by them on August 11. Pursuant to recommendations and suggestions received by them from advocate bodies, the Committee has asked concerned authorities to prepare the premises within a week. The communication through the Additional Registrar further states that the Judges Committee is acting on the advice of medical experts and has directed the concerned authorities to ensure proper social distancing as well as setting up of desired infrastructure in order to ensure that the pilot project may be resumed safely in 10 days. “On an experimental basis, and as a pilot scheme, three amongst the Court Rooms may be got prepared, within a week’s time through concerned agencies, strictly adhering to the prescribed distancing and other norms and as per medical advice with regard to the proper infrastructure required in these Court Rooms; Subject to the decision of the Competent Authority, it has been suggested that a limited number of cases be listed for physical hearing on experimental basis after ten days in such readied Court Rooms upon prior consent and willingness in writing of all parties to such matters/cases” -informs the letterIt has also been clarified that only specific matters will be taken up for physical hearing while miscellaneous matters will continue to be heard through virtual means. The experimental resumption of physical hearings will be based on written consent of all stakeholders and a gradual increase in such hearings may be considered if the ground situation improves. “Subject to the directions of the Competent Authority, only a limited category/number of matters for final hearing may be listed for physical hearing inside such Court Rooms, and the numbers may be gradually increased if the ground situation so warrants and permits”, states the communication with regard the decision of the Judges Committee.SC registry writes to President of Supreme Court Bar Association intimating about the decision to resume physical hearing in limited court rooms in a restricted fashion on an experimental basis. pic.twitter.com/KgfSXfSbdE— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) August 19, 2020 The 7-Judge Committee headed by Justice NV Ramana, on July 24, had decided to review the situation after 2 weeks, in view of the medical advice to maintain status quo for a period of two weeks. That decision had been communicated by the Committee during an interaction they had on July 24 with the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Dushyant Dave, President of Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA), Shivaji M Jadhav and Bar Council of India (BCI) Chairperson, Manan Kuman Mishra. During this interaction, the judges expressed that they were fully conscious and deeply concerned about the difficulties faced by the lawyers and were anxious to gradually restore normalcy in physical functioning. However, they added that a decision in that regard has to be guided by a holistic assessment of the situation based on medical advice, and also taking into account the safety and health of lawyers, judges, litigants and court staff.The Committee had assured that inputs and suggestions of the SCBA, SCAORA and BCI would be duly taken into consideration as regards timing and modalities for a gradual resumption of physical hearing of matters and restoration of normalcy in the premises of Supreme Court.The Committee had also sought for suggestions from the SCBA and SCAORA on the categories of cases that may be taken up when physical functioning is resumed. The Supreme Court has been hearing cases through video conferencing since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has also allowed e-filing in place of physical filings.  Next Storylast_img read more

In the wars

first_imgIn the warsOn 6 May 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article The lure of the worlds far flung regions has been hit by a run of tragicevents, but while it may have lost recent battles, the travel industry isconfident it will bounce back with a healthy glow. Isabel Choat reportsAnyone who works in travel and tourism knows how sensitive the economichealth of the industry is to factors beyond their control. Natural disasters,airline strikes, civil unrest, terrorist attacks, and now severe acuterespiratory syndrom (SARS) – the list of global events that can send a strongholiday booking pattern spiralling downwards goes on and on. But by far theworst thing that can happen is international conflict. While other factors can have a devastating effect on tourism to individualcountries – bookings to Bali, for example, plummeted after the nightclub bombin October last year, causing a $1.3bn drop in tourism income for Indonesia –war knocks consumer confidence, affecting travel to virtually all destinations,regardless of their proximity to the trouble spots. Even the September 11 terroristattacks, which forced several airlines into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and promptedwidespread job losses, turned out to be a short-term crisis. Many companiesadmitted off the record that the job losses had been on the cards anyhow, andby January 2002, bookings were picking up again as cheap airfares and packageslured tourists back to their favourite holiday spots. War, however, is a different story. The 1991 Gulf War led to the collapse of120 travel and tourism businesses, including industry giant InternationalLeisure Group. Those companies that survived did so by making widespreadredundancies – in hindsight, a policy that turned out to be a knee-jerkreaction which caused more problems than it solved. “We were already sliding into recession in the run up to the Gulf Warand when it hit, companies panicked and started to cut staff,” says JuliaFeuell, director of travel recruitment consultancy New Frontiers. “We would put a job ad out and the phone would ring off the hookbecause so many people had been made redundant. From a recruitment point ofview, it meant you would have a fantastic shortlist of candidates for any job.The problem was, when bookings started to come back after the war, there was asevere skills shortage; companies didn’t have the staff to cope.” In the run-up to the 2003 conflict, many people working in travel fearedthat history would repeat itself – another Gulf War, another slew of job cutsand failing businesses. Reports on ailing company MyTravel, one of the ‘bigfour’ travel firms, appeared in the papers every week, if not daily. It isslashing 2,000 jobs worldwide (700 will be lost from the 15,000-strong UKworkforce) as it struggles to keep its head above water. But although there are pockets of redundancy the doom and gloom is notuniversal. TV Travel shop may have made 70 home workers redundant at the end oflast month, and BA has brought forward its downsizing programme (it is making13,000 redundancies, mostly in the UK) from March 2004 to September this year,but most businesses are cautiously optimistic and insist that they are notplanning to cut staff. “MyTravel obviously had its own internal issues for a long time; it wasalready in the low point of its business cycle before the war started,”says Angus Chisholm, director of travel recruitment consultancy, C&MRecruitment. “But generally, the travel industry hasn’t been hit as badlyas last time. As a recruitment firm we are a good barometer of what’s going on.Business is about 5 per cent down, but we’ve only had one slow week sinceJanuary.” His comments are borne out by what the HR directors of the major players aresaying. Holiday bookings may be down by up to 50 per cent to the worst-hitdestinations, but tour operators are doing all they can to avoid slashing jobs.”We are not making collective redundancies; our whole approach has beenabout reducing any discretionary expenditure. We are looking at the number ofjobs directly related to the sales we are making,” says Dominic Mahony, HRdirector of TUI UK, which owns Thomson Holidays. “For example, the currenttrend is towards late bookings, so on our teletext channels we want to maintainnumbers, but in the retail division [high street shops] we need to cut our6,000-strong staff by about 150, and we are doing that through naturalturnover. “We have a general recruitment freeze in place, but we are taking anintelligent approach to it – rather than stopping altogether, we are stillrecruiting for essential roles. For instance, we have just taken on an ITspecialist,” Mahony adds. At TUI UK, job-specific training – such as training holiday reps before theyare posted abroad – will continue, but longer-term development plans have beenput on hold. Face-to-face meetings have been reduced in favour of electronicand written communications, there is an overtime freeze and staff have beeninvited to take unpaid leave of up to five days (those who take fiveconsecutive days get one day paid), but so far jobs are safe. Its rival First Choice has taken similar steps, asking call centre staff tobank hours in quiet periods, offering unpaid leave and halting non-essentialrecruitment. “Our business model, particularly since September 11, has been one of tightcost control and a very prudent approach to capacity [airline seats and hotelbeds] management. Our main focus and message to staff is that it’s business asusual,” says Jacky Simmonds, head of HR for First Choice holidaysdivision. Paul Kennedy, the new group HR director at E-bookers, is equally upbeat. Hismain concern at the moment is ensuring effective communications to avoid staffjumping to their own conclusions about the health of the business. “One of my first tasks is to take on an internal communicationsspecialist for a six- month contract who can put a robust communicationsprogramme in place and ensure consistency across our European and Indianoffices. “The message we are relaying to staff is that the business is in prettygood shape, despite the war and the SARS virus.” Kennedy says there are no plans to reduce headcount. In fact, there are noplans to make cuts anywhere: recruitment, training and working hours have allbeen unaffected. Now in the final stages of a massive reorganisation programme which startedin September 2001, Thomas Cook claims it is in a much stronger position thanmany of its rivals. More than 2,000 of its 14,000-strong workforce were maderedundant at the beginning of 2002 as part of a drive to take £140m worth ofcosts out of the business. Pay and recruitment freezes, salary cuts and shorterworking hours were all imposed at the time; now only the recruitment freezeremains. “We know times are difficult but we want to be ready when bookingsstart to recover. All the information we are getting says customers wereputting off their travel during the war, but they intend to travel later in theyear,” says group HR director of Thomas Cook UK, Fiona Rodford, who joinedthe company in 2001 to oversee the restructuring process. Kennedy agrees one of the primary concerns is how to deal with the expectedinflux of bookings now the Iraq war is over. In a survey carried out byAssociation of British Travel Agents, only 6 per cent of the of 500 respondentssay they will not book a holiday at all this year, suggesting there will be asudden surge once consumer confidence returns. All this positive talk may smack of companies putting on a brave face in thehope that business won’t suffer as much as it did in 1991, but their view isbacked up by comments from the recruitment sector. “Companies looking for staff think it’s a buyers market at the moment,but it’s not. We’ve had two candidates turn down jobs this week because theyweren’t offered enough money,” says Feuell. In March, the World Travel & Tourism Council predicted that a prolongedGulf War would lead to more than three million job losses worldwide and wipemore than $30m from the sector. As holiday bookings start to return, followingthe dip caused by the war, it is becoming clear the industry has been sparedthis fate, although with the Foreign Office still advising against travel toHong Kong and Beijing because of the SARS crisis, a sense of uncertainty andcaution remains. As TUI’s Mahony suggests, travel companies are not out of thewoods yet. “You rarely hear people make blanket statements aboutredundancies. We hope not to, but you can never say never.” Case study – Carlson WagonlitBusiness travel agency CarlsonWagonlit employs 1,400 staff at 60 offices across the UK. Sue Kavanagh, HRdirector, North Europe, says trading was already down at the beginning of thisyear, but the outbreak of war and the SARS virus has forced the business totake stock and look at where savings could be made. The first step was arecruitment ban, although she says if a key position became vacant they wouldreconsider.In April, staff were invited to take unpaid leave – a minimumof a week, a maximum of two. It is a policy that Kavanagh says has worked well.”Take-up has been positive, although obviously we reservethe right to review each case individually.” In addition, staff were asked to take any lieu days in April. One potentially controversial step was a ban on all stationerypurchasing. “We’ve probably got enough in the business to last six months;head office is consolidating all stationery purchasing to avoidduplication,” says Kavanagh. It is the small changes such as the block on new stationerythat can dent morale, says Kavanagh , which is why so much emphasis has beenput on effective communication. The HR department put together an action plancovering all the changes, and issued it to managers. It also asked staff tocome up with their own cost-saving ideas. Kavanagh says the current difficulties have brought the HRfunction’s role into sharp focus.”We have a very important role to play in making surewhatever message we want to communicate comes out centrally and is not aknee-jerk reaction. Staff would be stupid not to be concerned about the healthof the business, but we have been through September 11, and hopefully our staffhave confidence that whatever action we take is for the good of the businessand that we know what we are doing. Redundancy will be the last call.” Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Product

first_imgFor those of you who believe that a play marketing itself as a “monologue for two” smacks of typical Oxford pretention, go against your prejudices just this once. Perhaps a little heavy for the BT’s late slot, Kane Moore’s production of Mark Ravenhill’s play succeeds in being thought-provoking, engrossing, and perhaps surprisingly, completely unpretentious.The success of the production relies on Paul Russell’s portrayal of James, the only speaking part and a producer so seedy you half expect him to be sprouting a lawn by the end. Russell’s spirited performance is in stark contrast to the mute actress James is talking to (or to be more precise, at), who remains immobile and expressionless throughout, reinforcing the dehumanising and invasive nature of the film industry. A final important merit of Product is that despite starting so late its running time is only around an hour and so leaves you with plenty of time to discuss it over a sly drink down the pub afterwards. A light-hearted night at the theatre it is not, but well worth seeing if you get the chance.Sarah Davieslast_img read more

Port Meadow saga continues

first_imgFollowing months of campaigning, Oxford City Council has resolved to negotiate with the University regarding the Castle Mill developments near Port Meadow. Despite previously giving the scheme planning permission, councillors have allegedly admitted that they do not like the appearance of the building. Demonstrators from the Campaign to Protect Port Meadow from Oxford University (CPPMOU) have protested for months about the newly built flats, especially designed for University graduate accommodation. It is claimed that the building, particularly the top two storeys, has a ‘damaging’ impact on views of Port Meadows, and has angered many local residents and students. This recent development follows an online petition, which has over 2,200 signatures, and a letter calling on Prince Charles to raise concerns during his visit last week.Demonstrators are said to be pleased, and see this as a positive first step. Toby Porter, on behalf of the CPPMOU, said, “We welcome news that City Planners and the University have met, following Thursday’s instruction by Councillors to begin negotiations to ‘ameliorate the size and impact of the development’ on Roger Dudman Way. We feel that the reason these negotiations are now taking place is because of the huge public protest at the development.” He added, “I am not surprised by the decision. While the University is right to say that their planning permission is legal, it is in our eyes not legitimate – had the University’s planning consultant produced drawings showing the impact on the Meadow seen today, and their public been properly consulted, we do not believe planning permission would have been granted. One request we have made is that, before any final decision is reached, the community and campaign representatives will see precise computer-generated images of how proposed changes affect the view from Port Meadow.”However, the proposed changes could potentially cost up to £1million, and it is as yet unclear who would be responsible for this bill. While both the University and the Council declined to comment on the matter, CPPMOU has stated, “An important factor is that since early September, when the scale of the building was revealed, there have been significant protests, including voices from senior figures within the University. Had they listened, this would have cost a fraction of the current estimate to put right. This sums up what we see as the University’s culpability – we don’t think anyone anticipated the impact the buildings would have on Port Meadow.”A University spokesperson said, “We welcome the planning report’s finding that the University acted properly when securing planning permission for the Castle Mill student accommodation development. We are always happy to meet with planning officers and to hear what they have to say. A meeting on Friday was the first of what will probably be several conversations.”A spokesman for Oxford City Council said, “Our Head of City Development, Michael Crofton Briggs, has met the Director of Estates from Oxford University and started a constructive dialogue about the size and impact of the building following the West Area Planning Committee.“Local and city wide groups were notified of the planning application and site notices were put up. However, it seems that a lot of people did not realise just how close to Port Meadow the development site was.“A report fully explaining the process was discussed at the West Area Planning Committee.”last_img read more