first_imgGuruOn 5 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article This week’s guruRunning the country? That’s just the day jobDo you remember the Blairs’ public spat over parental leave? Well, you’ll bepleased to know that Tony has managed to balance his home and work commitmentsfollowing Leo’s birth. At the Opportunity Now awards in London last week, Cherie Blair told theaudience that the Prime Minister does manage to pop up to the nursery to seethe baby after a hard day running the country. But with barrister Cherie embarking on a new case and Tony trying to secureLabour’s second term, Guru is concerned that little Leo could suffer. The next government could learn a few lessons from the HSBC bank, which wonthe Framework for Action category at the awards. The judging panel, whichincluded Personnel Today’s editor Noel O’Reilly, was impressed by the bank’sattempts to promote women into management positions and support of work-lifebalance practices. PC job-seekers choose Tuesday Tuesday is a very important day. Not only is it the day Personnel Today hitsthe desks of HR professionals, but it is also when all your staff are lookingfor new jobs. Research by a leading online European recruitment agency shows that itreceives the most visitors on a Tuesday. This represents 37 per cent of the500,000 page views a week. Most staff access the jobs site during their lunch hour through their workPC. Unsurprisingly, staff showed little interest in investigating new careeroptions over the weekend, claims We’ve all heard about your type Guru has already warned disciples that the type of mobile phone ring youchoose sends out messages about your personality. Now research suggests that the style of typefaces used in e-mails also tellsthe recipients about your character. Psychologist Dr Sigman was commissioned by printer firm Lexmark to performthe study. Sans serif typefaces, such as Arial and Modern, are the “sensible pairof shoes of print”, whereas curvy typefaces such as Georgia are used byfashionable types. Times New Roman and Palatino show trustworthiness and a compromise betweenold and new. Guru was disturbed to find that Courier – his favourite – is the”anorak of typefaces” and tends to be used by boozy, chain-smokingjournalists. Anyone for a pint? Police go back to grass-roots level Like an old episode of The Bill, the police stories continue to run and run.Personnel Today revealed that the Police Federation’s pre-election calls foran extra 12,000 officers could be impossible to meet (22 May). But Guru hears that those police forces that are trying to swell theirnumbers are experiencing some unforeseen benefits – well-manicured gardensbeing one of them. One unnamed force has used new recruits as gardeners because there were notenough places in police training schools. The £18,000-a-year recruits hadalready completed a two-week induction course and were on the payroll. Other training colleges are struggling to cope. Apparently, Hendon TrainingCentre in London is so under pressure to train coppers that Scotland Yard washiring hotel rooms at £75 a night to house recruits. last_img read more

WHSmith to recruit 3,000 in expansion

first_imgRetail group WHSmith is recruiting around 3,000 staff for a major storeopening programme. The chain is phasing in the jobs over the next three years as it expands itsnetwork with 120 new stores. Despite the current economic downturn, the company is adding new staff toits 20,000-strong workforce, creating the full spectrum of retail positions. Alex Nairn, people director at WHSmith, said, “It is very pleasing andit shows the confidence we have in the company. It also sends a clear messageto our staff that will boost morale.” The move goes ahead despite an 8 per cent drop in pre-tax profits this year,mainly due to a weak magazine market. The firm is also looking to branch out from its traditional offering byopening some stores away from the high street and including additional serviceslike coffee shops and video systems. The company will use a full range of recruitment methods to tackle the tightlabour market. “Recruiting in the retail market is challenging. There is lessunemployment so attracting people is all about your reputation as an employerand brand. “We are using lots of recruitment methods but primarily job centres andlocal press. For the type of work we are looking at we have also found thatword of mouth is a very powerful tool.” WHSmith to recruit 3,000 in expansionOn 11 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Watch this space

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Watch this spaceOn 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today The case of Unison v (1) RCO Support Services (2) Aintree Hospital Trust (3)Initial Hospital Services Ltd, reported as case of the month in our last issue,has an application for leave to the House of Lords pending. – Several cases of interest are shortly to come before the European Court,including: – Beckman (transfer of pension-related redundancy payments on Tupetransfer). Opinion delivered 13 December 2001 – Rechnungshof (data protection and employees’ rights) – Lawrence (equal pay). Opinion delivered 14 March 2002 – Kutz-Bauer (part-time work and equal treatment). Opinion delivered 5February 2002 last_img read more

US medical facilities strike deal

first_imgUS medical facilities strike dealOn 25 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Oneof the world’s largest partnership deals helped a US health- care providerimprove productivity and avoid industrial action.ProfessorThomas A Kochan, speaking at the Modernizing Employment in the 21st CenturyConference last week, said an agreement was formed between 26 local unions andcovers 62,000 staff at more than 400 medical facilities around the US.Hesaid the deal, known as the Kaiser Permanente partnership, had proved extremelybeneficial for the organisation and staff.Thepartnership, initially negotiated in 1997, contributed to cutting the time ittook to build a hospital, and increased patient satisfaction after major inputfrom frontline staff.Employeesalso used the partnership agreement to suggest improvements to procedures thathelped halve the operation turnaround time for patients.Thepartnership also saved an optical lab threatened with closure after workerscame up with new ideas to improve productivity and a union supervisor was movedinto a key management position. This prevented a strike, reduced breakage andeventually increased revenue by $5.5m.Kochansaid partnership deals were still rare in the US and even in the case of KaiserPermanente, only about 25 per cent of staff had been involved with, or evenheard of the partnership. He said the scheme, which costs about $12m to run,still struggles to get employer and employee buy-in despite its successes. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

HR must cherry pick its newest star performers

first_img Previous Article Next Article HR must cherry pick its newest star performersOn 8 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. HR needs to recruit star performers and raise its professional standards ifit is to improve its business standing, delegates were told at the secondannual HR Directors’ European Summit. Priscilla Vacassin, group HR director of BAA, told delegates that HR isstill finding it hard to employ the highest quality recruits. “We arestill not attracting the very best people in HR,” she said. She went on to say that HR departments must ‘cherry pick’ the types ofpeople in their organisations who are normally attracted into marketing roles. “We’ve got to go and hand pick people while we work on the agenda toget the profession more highly regarded,” she said. Andrew Lambert, director of the UK-based thinktank Careers Research Forum,said his group had major doubts as to whether HR organisations such as theCIPD, ASTD and SHRM were up to the challenge of taking the profession forward.He said this is because the focus of these bodies tends to rest more onentry-level development rather than senior career issues. Making an impact in strengthening HR’s position, he noted, “needsenergy and communication skills I haven’t seen from the professionalbodies”. However John Hofmeister, HR director for Royal Dutch/Shell, warnedpractitioners not to neglect basics such as administration, as they worry abouttheir ability over the long term to contribute to corporate strategy. “You do the administration poorly and you lose your ‘licence tooperate’,” he told the conference, which was organised by The Economistmagazine. By Deedee Doke Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Condos, conspiracies and coronavirus: 2020’s juiciest lawsuits

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* Ziel Feldman, Aby Rosen, Sharif El-Gamal, and an iconic New York hot dog restaurant top the years juiciest lawsuits. (Getty, Papaya King)An unprecedented pandemic and economic downturn made 2020 a big year for real estate lawsuits.Sometimes, coronavirus was just one more complicating factor in an already difficult situation — be it softness in New York’s condo market, long-standing headwinds in the retail sector or business relationships gone sour. In other cases, the pandemic was the main cause for a legal confrontation. Still, some lawsuits were the kind you would expect the city’s high-stakes real estate world to produce even in a normal year.Here were the juiciest lawsuits in 2020.Condo crunchHFZ Capital Group — the prolific firm co-founded by Ziel Feldman and Nir Meir 15 years ago — may be the first big Manhattan developer in the Covid era at risk of losing it all. As detailed in The Real Deal’s December magazine, the company’s investors and lenders have sued to collect more than $300 million. Liens from contractors and vendors are piling up. And construction has stalled and sales are slow at the firm’s flagship project, the Bjarke Ingels–designed XI condo and hotel along the High Line.Mortgage maneuversIn 2014, RFR Holding teamed up with Vanke US to develop a luxury condo project at 100 East 53rd Street, as Aby Rosen’s firm hoped to leverage the Chinese developer’s “sales and marketing channels overseas” to attract buyers. But the market turned, and with a loan from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China now in default, Rosen accuses Vanke of orchestrating an improper “backdoor deal” that put it “on both sides of the borrower-lender relationship.” Vanke, for its part, claims Rosen is seeking an exorbitant buyout for its 7-percent stake — a scheme that had allegedly begun before the pandemic.Air rights reversalIn 2016, Sharif El-Gamal’s Soho Properties merged two zoning lots at the former so-called “Ground Zero mosque” site to pave the way for a 43-story condo project at 45 Park Place. After a series of setbacks, however, its consortium of overseas lenders is now seeking to foreclose on the project — and claims that the developer is threatening to undo the merger, removing 40,000 square feet of rights from the nearly completed condo tower and drastically reducing its value. El-Gamal denies this, and says that his firm no longer controls both parcels.(Former) family feudThe long-running legal feud between Alex Sapir and Rotem Rosen saw some new twists in 2020, as the former business partners and brothers-in-law traded lawsuits a week apart in late July. First, Sapir and his family firm brought a $100 million suit against Rosen and his brother Omer, accusing them of conspiring to steal documents and trade secrets from the family. Rosen responded with a suit alleging that Sapir defaulted on a $60 million promissory note.Nuclear deterrenceThe Gindi family, which founded Century 21, are passive investors in seven of Ben Ashkenazy’s North American properties, a pair of recent lawsuits revealed. Ashkenazy alleges that the Gindis refused to meet a contractual obligation to invest millions in the properties to stave off a bankruptcy. He further claimed the Gindis damaged his reputation by telling other real estate players that he stole money from them. The Gindis, for their part, say that Ashkenzay threatened to “go nuclear if I need to because you destroyed my business.”Merchant masqueradeAfter a two-year prison stint in connection with a $18 million fraud, Adam Hochfelder joined Merchants Hospitality in 2012 to spearhead acquisitions and development for the firm. But now, Merchants accuses Hochfelder of embezzling funds from its West 42nd Street hotel project — the site of a failed effort to run a high-priced Playboy Club in New York — and using his affiliation with the firm to run a $400,000 Ponzi scheme through his company email. Merchants and Hochfelder briefly agreed to discontinue the suit voluntarily, but the deal fell through a few days later. Hochfelder denies all charges, including allegations of drug use and psychological issues.Weapons @ WeWorkA federal lawsuit filed in July accuses WeWork of bungling its response to a complaint that a mid-level manager regularly wielded weapons (including knives and a crossbow) at the office and on Zoom calls, bragged of ties to the mafia and had a reputation for making unwanted advances on female staff and clients. Rather than rectify the situation, the lawsuit claims that WeWork used the excuse of economic harm caused by Covid-19 to terminate the plaintiff, who was employed at the co-working firm’s New York office and raised the issues with management.Papaya problemsIconic hot dog chain Papaya King found itself in dire financial straits in late 2019, and hired Grab & Go Convenience to manage its two remaining Manhattan locations and get the company back on its feet. In a May lawsuit, however, the chain claims that Grab & Go broke into the store at 179 East 86th Street and continued to operate without permission in the midst of the coronavirus lockdown, even though Papaya King’s lease had been canceled after the eatery racked up more than $122,000 in unpaid rent. The management company — which now claims to own Papaya King — allegedly caused a sewage backup and flood in the basement of a neighboring pizzeria and is also dealing with another legal dispute at the now-shuttered Midtown location.Now UCC me, now you don’tIn May, Hidrock Properties accused Henry Silverman’s 54 Madison Partners of trying to take over the 161-key project at 12 East 48th Street his firm lent $30 million in mezzanine debt on. Hidrock referred to it as an “improper and shameless attempt to capitalize on the Covid-19 pandemic.” Silverman’s firm allegedly announced an in-person “public” auction of the entity that controls the property at the MetLife Building on Friday, May 1 — despite the ban on non-essential gatherings in effect at the time, according to the suit. Two weeks later, a judge ruled that mezzanine loans were not subject to the state ban on foreclosures. The auction went forward soon after, but Hidrock filed a new suit in July, arguing that it was a “sham” and “commercially unreasonable.” Honorable mentions: Covid chaos, continuedThe coronavirus era’s new normal led to the rise of entire genres of unprecedented lawsuits. Most notably, countless commercial tenants — from apparel retailers to rock-climbing gyms — came to the legal conclusion that the pandemic “frustrated” the purpose of their leases, allowing them to walk away without penalty. So far, courts have not shared this view.Others directed their grievances at the city and state governments for imposing what they viewed as unreasonable restrictions. These began to pile up in the autumn as some businesses were made to stay closed while others began reopening. In one suit, a Brooklyn ale house lampooned Covid curfews, observing that the virus “does not behave as a vampire, infecting others only when the moon is out.” Religious groups in second-wave hotspots also filed several suits challenging new restrictions.New pandemic rules also opened up new real estate for retailers to fight over — the sidewalks. In one instance, a restaurant at the Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side found itself in a dispute with the clothing store next door, which claims it was rendered “invisible” by the restaurant’s outdoor dining set-up.“Saliva-spewing” picketersSL Green Realty sued Local 79, but not over a labor dispute. The real estate investment trust said that picketers from the union outside its 420 Lexington Avenue office failed to wear face masks and were using “saliva-spewing whistles” — putting building guards and the public at risk of contracting Covid-19. SL Green said it submitted video evidence of the “saliva projectiles.” Read moreBreakups, bad neighbors and raw sewage: 2019’s juiciest lawsuitsThe 10 most notable New York real estate lawsuits of 2018 Full Name* Email Address*center_img Contact Kevin Sun Share via Shortlink Tags2020 in ReviewReal Estate Lawsuitslast_img read more

Is the vegetation of continental Antarctica predominantly aquatic?

first_imgWe have suggested1 that Antarctic lakes offer a more favourable physical environment to certain species of moss than the surrounding land. We now present evidence in support of the wider thesis that in certain areas of Antarctica most of the plant biomass occurs in aquatic habitats. In the austral summer 1973–74 we found more mosses and algae growing aquatically than terrestrially in the Ablation Valley area of Alexander Island (Fig. 1). The area is relatively free from ice and has a climate similar to the inland ice-free areas of continental Antarctica2, although conditions are not quite so arid because of frequent intrusions of oceanic weather systems from the Bellinghausen Sea. Extensive terrestrial plant cover was, however, restricted to seven discrete (patches of moss, lichen and algae, totalling 2,300 m2 in about 40km2 of icenfree ground searched on foot. The patches were on north-facing slopes where groundwater welled up continuously during the short summer. Widely scattered, very small moss cushions also occurred between and beneath stones in a few other damp and wet places. The availability of water and soil instability seemed to be the two most important factors restricting terrestrial plant distribution.last_img read more

Role of strike-slip faulting in the tectonic evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula

first_imgThe Antarctic Peninsula Mesozoic magmatic arc has had a long history of dextral, strike-slip deformation. The deformation was initially associated with the development of a wide accretionary complex, by the migration of fore-arc slivers, and the formation and inversion of a thick fore-arc basin succession. It also formed an important component within major shear zones in the arc, and may have controlled the formation of sedimentary basins in the back-arc region. Although some transcurrent motion within the fore-arc region was related to a component of oblique subduction, the main movement occurred during the breakup of Gondwanaland and the formation of a major transtensional rift system. A new reconstruction for this part of Gondwanaland is presented taking this transcurrent motion into consideration.last_img read more

Analysis of recent circulation and thermal advection change in the northern Antarctic Peninsula

first_imgChanges in circulation at 500 and 850 hPa and horizontal thermal advection between these two levels are examined at Bellingshausen station in the northern Antarctic Peninsula between 1969 and 2000. A synthesis of radiosonde observations and reanalysis data is employed, the latter being ‘corrected’ to remove any bias and trend versus the observations. These data only reveal statistically significant increases in the annual zonal wind component; although the mean direction of the thermal advection is 339degrees there is no indication of increasing northerlies coincident with the remarkable regional surface warming. Seasonally, the zonal wind is most highly correlated with Surface temperature in autumn and winter, the seasons showing the greatest temperature rise. This Suggests that the increasing westerlies have played a role in the recent warming, and several authors have Postulated that this results from a trend towards the positive phase of the Southern Hemisphere annular mode (SAM). However, a comparison between a regional zonal circulation index derived independently from observations and the reanalysis data used in past Studies of the SAM indicates long-term increases in the latter may be an artefact caused by errors in the early reanalysis data. While observations do indicate an increase in the zonal wind since the late 1970s, coincident with a decline in the strength of the semi-annual oscillation, there is no clear evidence of circulation changes driving the long-term Antarctic Peninsula surface warming.last_img read more

Scaling in long term data sets of geomagnetic indices and solar wind epsilon as seen by WIND spacecraft

first_imgWe study scaling in fluctuations of the geomagnetic indices (AE, AU, and AL) that provide a measure of magnetospheric activity and of the ϵ parameter which is a measure of the solar wind driver. Generalized structure function (GSF) analysis shows that fluctuations exhibit self-similar scaling up to about 1 hour for the AU index and about 2 hours for AL, AE and ϵ when the most extreme fluctuations over 10 standard deviations are excluded. The scaling exponents of the GSF are found to be similar for the three AE indices, and to differ significantly from that of ϵ. This is corroborated by direct comparison of their rescaled probability density functionslast_img read more