At least 60 journalists were aboard flotilla, most still held

first_img Reporters Without Borders reiterates its urgent appeal to the Israeli authorities to release the journalists who were accompanying the Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla that was intercepted on 31 May. According to the latest information available to the press freedom organisation, at least 60 journalists were aboard.“We point out that the journalists were there to do their job, which was to cover what happened,” Reporters Without Borders said. “They should not be confused with the activists. Three hundred of the flotilla’s passengers are about to be deported but journalists are still being held. We call on the Israeli authorities to free all the detained journalists and return their equipment, which was seized by the military.”Three hundred passengers are currently at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, from where they are to be deported today. Some journalists are among them.Reporters Without Borders has also learned that the Al Jazeera crew that was aboard the flotilla, including correspondent Abbas Nasser and cameraman Isaam Zaatar, was expelled yesterday.Reporters Without Borders is aware of 16 journalists being held at Be’er Scheva detention centre. They are Svetoslav Ivanov and Valentin Vassilev of Bulgaria’s BTV, Muna Shester of the Kuwait News Agency, Talat Hussain of Aaj TV, Paul McGeough and Kate Geraghty of the Sydney Morning Herald, Mario Damolin of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, David Segarra of teleSUR, Ayse Sarioglu of Taraf, Murat Palavar and Hakan Albayrak of Yeni Safak, Sümeyye Ertekin, Ümit Sönmez and Ersin Esen of TVNET and Ashwad Ismail and Samsul Kamal Abdul Latip of Astro Awani.Reporters Without Borders has tried repeatedly to get in touch with them, so far without success. News RSF asks ICC prosecutor to say whether Israeli airstrikes on media in Gaza constitute war crimes June 2, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 At least 60 journalists were aboard flotilla, most still held RSF_en IsraelMiddle East – North Africa Israel now holding 13 Palestinian journalists Help by sharing this information News Follow the news on Israel IsraelMiddle East – North Africa center_img May 28, 2021 Find out more News June 3, 2021 Find out more Organisation to go further News May 16, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalistslast_img read more

Feet on the ground

first_img Previous Article Next Article Thenew right to be accompanied at disciplinary and grievance hearings has led towarnings of union recognition by the back door. But such fears are misplaced –even for non-unionised workplaces such as Air Miles, argues Tim CraddockListening to some commentators, 4 September 2000 will go down in the annalsof employee relations as the day the world changed. From that date, all workers(workers, note, not just the narrower definition of staff) have the right to beaccompanied by a trade union official in disciplinary and grievance hearings. No longer does someone subject to a disciplinary hearing have to rely onlyon a work colleague to help him (if he was even allowed that). He now has theright to call on the services of a trade union official, whether or not hisemployer recognises a union. For employers which do not recognise unions, this can seem a major issue.Some have probably never had to deal with a union in their lives. It mayconjure up visions of strikes, pickets and protests. Union officials aresomething to be feared and to be regarded as not quite the sort of people youtake home to mother. Taken together with the recently introduced statutory right to recognition –where unions can “force” recognition if they have sufficient members– the new right to accompaniment is seen by some as opening the floodgates tounion power. Under this argument, unions will use “trojan horse”workers to bring in union representatives to disciplinary and grievancehearings and then the unions will use this as an opportunity to get the otherworkers to join the union. Hey presto, union recognition! So, is this fear justified? Is the new right a back door for unions to forceemployers to recognise them? Does it mean a fundamental shift in the balance ofpower in the workplace back to the union-dominated 1970s? I believe these fears are misplaced. For unionised employers, the right toaccompaniment will have little practical impact as union representatives willalready be able to represent staff at disciplinary and grievance hearings. For companies which are not unionised, it will mean dealing with a newsituation, but certainly not one which should be unmanageable. It will all boildown to how it is approached. The Air Miles approach Air Miles is probably the best known loyalty scheme in the UK. Over fivemillion people collect Air Miles through their day-to-day purchases. They canredeem them for a wide range of leisure products, from flights and holidays tocinema tickets and restaurant meals. Founded in 1988, the scheme has grownrapidly and now employs over 1,000 staff split between two sites, one inCrawley and one in Birchwood near Warrington. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of British Airways, but, unlike BA,is not unionised. The new right to accompaniment may, therefore, have animpact. We are currently reviewing our disciplinary and grievance procedures aspart of a wider review. They are part of a “Performance, Behaviour andRelationships” policy which dates back to the founding of the company.Part of our review includes incorporating the new right. Some non-unionised employers may want to take the monastic approach – thatis, not tell their workers that the new right exists. Certainly, there is nolegal obligation to inform staff – the right is to be accompanied, when thereis a reasonable request from the worker. Why not just wait to see if any of your workers pick up on it? Who knows,they may remain in ignorance and you will never have to deal with a unionofficial knocking on your door. Such an approach is mistaken. First, why try to hide something which is nowthe law? It has received wide coverage in the media and people are increasinglyaware of their legal rights at work. If you try to pretend it does not exist,you will only succeed in creating an environment of distrust. This means thatwhen the situation arises (as it will) of someone asking to be represented, youwill be on the back foot. This can only add to the tension at the disciplinaryor grievance hearing. Second, if you have respect and consideration for your staff, you should beopen with them about their entitlements. If you are calling someone to adisciplinary hearing – or if a member of staff is raising a legitimategrievance – tell them of the right to be accompanied. That way, a climate oftrust is created at the outset of what can be a traumatic time. What about the role of the union representative? If you read the small printof the rules, the union representative may address the meeting and may confer withthe worker concerned. But the representative may not ask questions. Should thisbe taken as an opportunity to marginalise the representative’s role? Again, I would suggest that to try to do so will cause unnecessary tensions.Far better to take a proactive approach and set a constructive tone for thedisciplinary or grievance hearing. That way, points scoring over narrowprocedural matters can be minimised. The key is to remember what the purpose of a disciplinary or grievancehearing is. Put simply, a disciplinary hearing is to allow the employer to puta case to an employee, give the employee a proper opportunity to respond andallow discussion to take place before the employer reaches a conclusion; agrievance hearing enables an employee to put forward something which concernshim and to discuss it with his employer, with a view to getting the matterresolved. Consequently, anything which facilitates this process is beneficial;anything which confuses it is destructive. A constructive and experiencedrepresentative can help someone marshal his points and present them in a clearway. This can only benefit the decision-making process, ensuring an outcomewhich is fair and, importantly, seen to be fair. At Air Miles, one of our five core values is “care for people”. Tosome, this might sound like motherhood and apple pie – a nice thought, but notrelevant to the real world. To us, it informs our approach to managing ourstaff. If we have a disciplinary or grievance situation, it is important to usthat the person understands how the process works and what the outcome couldbe. Critical to this is that the person has good representation. We have a system of consultative committees, to which each area of thecompany elects a representative.  Staffare able to be represented by their consultative committee representative or byanother work colleague. They now have the additional option of a trade union representative. Underour new draft disciplinary and grievance procedures, we have recognised theright to be represented in a positive way. Role of representatives A disciplinary or grievance hearing can be a difficult time. We encouragestaff to have a representative in such hearings. We do not set hard and fastrules for the role of the representative, other than that they observe theappropriate courtesies. We are happy for the representative to support theemployee in whatever way is reasonable. For some, this will be to act as moralsupport; others might want their representative to present their case and askquestions on their behalf. The important thing is for the employee to be ableto put his case in the best possible way. Although Air Miles does not have any formal relationships with trade unions,we recognise the legal right for any member of staff to join a union of theirchoice. If a member of staff is a union member, then he or she may choose tohave an external union representative. All we ask is that the member of staffinforms his or her manager in advance, so we can arrange in advance reasonablefacilities for the union official. We believe this sets a constructive tone, which will reassure staff thatthey will not be seen as trouble-makers if they exercise their legal rights.Trust in your staff and keeping things in perspective are the essentials indealing with this – and other – new employment rights. The new law – key points– Where a “worker” is required or invited by his or her employerto attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing, he or she can reasonably requestto be accompanied by a union official of his or her choice (or by a fellowemployee).– A disciplinary hearing is one which could result in the issuing orconfirmation of a formal warning or some other disciplinary sanction.– A grievance hearing is one which concerns “the performance of aduty” by the employer in relation to the worker (strictly speaking, thisrelates to a legal duty the employer owes the worker, such as a health andsafety issue).– The representative may address the hearing and confer with the worker, butmay not, technically, answer questions posed to the worker.Tim Craddock is head of employment law and recruitment at Air MilesTravel Promotions Ltd Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Feet on the groundOn 1 Dec 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Library Closed on Saturday

first_imgThe library is closed for construction work on the air-conditioning system. Proceeding with caution for the safety of patrons and staff, the Ocean City Free Public Library will be closed to the public on Saturday while the air-conditioning system is being replaced.The library will continue offering curbside pickup services at the Haven Avenue side of the building.The library staff apologizes for the inconvenience and thanks members of the public for their patience and understanding.last_img

Saint Mary‘s professor publishes memoir of undergraduate years at Notre Dame

first_imgDepartment chair of humanistic studies Phil Hicks recently published a book entitled, “Old Notre Dame: Paul Fenlon, Sorin Hall & Me,” about a professor he became friends with when he was a history major at Notre Dame. “[It’s] a memoir of my undergraduate days when I befriended an 80-year-old professor who had lived in my dorm for 60 years,” Hicks said. “I wrote down everything he did and said — campus stories going back to 1915 — and helped him survive as the very last of the ‘bachelor dons,’” Hicks said. Hicks emphasized the importance of loyalty in his book, and he also discussed the uniqueness of friendships between the young and old. “One of its messages is that generations can be bridged in friendship more easily than we might think,” Hicks said. “The book also honors the value of history and tradition and of loyalty to institutions — in this case, Paul Fenlon’s loyalty to Notre Dame, Sorin Hall and the Catholic Church.“Hicks said he felt motivated to write about his professor because he was deeply involved in Notre Dame for decades. “Paul Fenlon had been a student at Notre Dame, a faculty member and a retiree, all the while living in Sorin Hall, and yet when I met him as a freshman in 1976, he seemed under-appreciated by the campus community, especially by my fellow Sorinites,” Hicks said.Even as a student, Hicks knew Fenlon’s story needed to be told. “I wanted to make a record of those stories and of Paul Fenlon’s daily life, because somehow I had become obsessed with the history of Sorin Hall, and I was convinced there was an audience for this material,” he said.For Hicks, writing this book wasn’t just about the history of the University and a narrative of Fenlon’s life. This book was deeply personal, as Hicks dug into parts of his own life as well.“Trying to set down on paper my own emotional response to his death was also hard to do because I’d never written anything so personal before,” he said.Writing this book took him around 44 years to finish, but the base of all of it was from his years as a student when he engaged directly with Fenlon. “By the spring semester, I was visiting him nearly every day, completely enchanted by his storytelling, and by the time I was a senior I had written a couple hundred pages on everything he did and said,“ Hicks said.Hicks elaborated on why, after all these years, he decided to write this book instead of donating his writings to the University Archives. “Originally, I thought I would just hand it over to the University Archives as a record of my undergraduate days,” Hicks said, “But it was so messy that I had to transcribe it first, and in so doing I recognized it made no sense without lots of explanatory context.” Once he decided that he wanted to turn his writings into a book, it took a few more years to find balance between writing, family time and work.“During the semester, I’m preoccupied with classes and departmental activities, so that leaves mainly summers and occasional sabbaticals for research,” Hicks said. “Don’t forget that my wife and four children are a priority for me, too. I don’t know if you could call my life a balanced one or not, because between family and work, I don’t have much of a social life.”Writing while raising a family and working a job was time consuming, but he was still able to publish his book. “It took about five years writing in my spare time to produce a good draft, then a few more years to get feedback on it, find a publisher and make final revisions.”Hicks hopes the book will resonate with many members of the Notre Dame community.“[The] book deals with so many facets of the school — the sports teams, dorm life, the professors and administration, the Holy Cross priests — that anyone with an interest in Notre Dame should enjoy it, whether they are current students, alums from the 1950s or just fans of the school,” Hicks said.Tags: department of humanistic studies, memoir, saint mary’slast_img read more