May
21
2018
0

Canada, France, the UK, and more – the last 10 days at LabourStart

Canada: LabourStart will have a presence at the upcoming convention of the public sector union CUPE in Ontario; we’ve developed a dedicated welcome page for delegates to introduce them to LabourStart.

France: We have a new campaign coming up, from the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), in support of French railway workers in their fight against privatisation. We hope to launch this today.

UK: At the request of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), we did a mailing our UK list (12,190 addresses), which quickly generated over 500 additional responses to their campaign in support of striking workers at the TGI Fridays restaurant chain. We had earlier met with some people from the union on the TUC march for a new deal for workers and discussed ways LabourStart can help.

GDPR: We will be sending out mailing to our lists this week about the General Data Protection Regulation which comes into force this week. Learning about this, asking around, and getting a sense of what other campaigning organisations are doing has consumed a greal deal of time and energy in recent weeks.

Global Solidarity Conference 2019: We’re having a lot of conversations with people about holding a LabourStart conference in the USA next year. More details coming soon.

Wikipedia: Thanks to everyone who offered to help maintain the LabourStart pages on Wikipedia and to translate them – we’ll be getting back to all of you shortly.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Mailing list |
May
11
2018
0

May Day, events calendar, fund-raising, privacy and more …

May Day: Following an appeal to correspondents, we tripled the number who posted news on May 1st, and posted well over 200 news stories on the day. A number of previously-inactive correspondents have gotten involved again, in some cases after requesting new passwords from us.

Events calendar: This is a little-used part of our home page for individual countries, but it could be a great service for the labour movement. Any correspondent can add events; to do so, click on the link after you’ve logged in to post news. In the last couple of weeks, we added quite a few new events, mostly to the UK and USA pages. Please add more.

Fundraising: We’ve taken in about £7,000 since we launched our fundraising appeal last month; this is not bad, and overall 2017-18 was a good year.

GDPR: To comply with this EU directive, we’ve amended the Privacy statement on LabourStart and unticked the box on our campaigns page, meaning that people who now wish to join our mailing list must click the box in order to do so.

Germany: Eric Lee met with a delegation of German trade unionists who were in the UK on a study visit; he made a presentation and distributed fliers about LabourStart.

Iran: We closed the Esmail Abdi campaign after more than three months and are awaiting a response from the global union on what effect, if any, our campaign had.

Panama: We were asked to prepare to launch a campaign on this, but the global union has decided to do this on their own; we’ve asked why and they’ve promised to get back to us on this.

Ukraine: Our Ukrainian language home page now works like our Russian one, with headlines and more.

Zimbabwe: We offered to campaign in support of teachers in their struggle, but in the end it turned out not to be necessary as an agreement was finally reached with the government.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Correspondents,Events,Fund-raising |
May
02
2018
1

LabourStart in Numbers, January – April 2018

This is the first report in five months – sorry for the delay. The next report will come out in three months — in early August.

Some highlights:

* As I reported last time, our mailing are generally growing smaller; this happens when we use them a lot, and MailChimp deletes subscribers whose email addresses are no longer valid. The only way to get around this is to recruit new people to our lists, which we are doing, but not fast enough. The good news is the our Arabic list nearly doubled in size, and we have a new list in Georgia with about 200 people.

* On Facebook, we’ve seen no growth at all in recent months.

* On Twitter, there’s been excellent growth of the global English feed, as well as our Canadian and US feeds, but nowhere else.

* A survey of traffic to our news and campaigns websites shows a decrease in the number of visitors overall, but a massive surge of visitors from China. However, one needs to show caution. Those thousands of Chinese visitors did not sign up to our campaigns in the Chinese language and did not land on our Chinese language news pages. Our assumption has to, therefore, that these were bots, not people.

In the list below, the first number is the current total, the second one is our previous total.

Mailing lists

English: 82,997 – 84,753
French: 8,907 – 8,993
German: 6,225 – 6,279
Spanish: 5,432 – 5,509
Turkish: 4,205 – 4,217
Italian: 3,821 – 3,871
Korean: 3,773 – 3,773
Norwegian: 2,647 – 2,709
Russian: 2,501 – 2,580
Dutch: 1,679 – 1,667
Swedish: 1,180 – 1,243
Chinese: 1,055 – 1,074
Arabic: 957 – 495
Portuguese: 865 – 877
Polish: 798 – 798
Finnish: 595 – 643
Japanese: 454 – 494
Indonesian: 394 – 392
Hebrew: 266 – 276
Ukrainian: 272 – 268
Farsi: 232 – 232
Georgian: 217
Tagalog: 205 – 225
Esperanto: 171 – 169
Hungarian: 158 – 158
Danish: 91 – 97
Czech: 76 – 79
Thai: 64 – 67
Greek: 58 – 58
Romanian: 41 – 41
Hindi: 37 – 37
Vietnamese: 25 – 25
Slovakian: 20 – 20
Bulgarian: 18 – 18
Creole: 12 – 12
Sinhalese: 1 – 1

Facebook:

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 12,377 – 12,379
Members of LabourStart group (Global Labour News and Information): 8,830 – 8,874
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 2,406 – 2,506
Like LabourStart UK page: 2,020 – 2,037
Like LabourStart page (French): 574 – 578
Like LabourStart page (German): 493 – 496
Friends of LabourStart Brasil: 415
LabourStart TV – 401 – 401
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 159 – 163
Members of LabourStart Vostok (Russian): 124 – 117

Twitter

English: 20,305 – 18,488
Canada English: 8,910 – 7,745
USA: 3,302 – 1,898
Australia: 2,688 – 2,653
Canada French: 1,948 – 1,872
Italian: 527 – 538
Swedish: 369 – 370
Indonesia: 355 – 360
Portuguese: 277 – 278
French: 231 – 230
German: 92 – 92
Spanish: 68 – 70
Japanese: 19 – 21
Russian: 24 – 19
Norwegian: 18 – 19
Turkish: 14 – 16
Dutch: 12 – 12
Arabic: 8 – 8

Linked In

LabourStart group: 2,038 – 2,042

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 832 – 829

Website traffic (1.1.18 – 1.5.18)

LabourStart.org (news) –

Unique users 38,143 – 55,884

Top countries (by sessions):

USA 20% – 21%
Canada 13% – 16%
UK 10% – 12%
China 9%
India 6% – 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 32,104 – 48,545
USA – English 16,018 – 20,156
Canada – English 6,679 – 8,527
India 3,509 – 5,175
UK – 3,465

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users 43,447 – 56,231

Top countries (by sessions):

China 39%
USA 9% – 12%
UK 8% – 14%
Canada 5% – 12%
Germany 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

The number in brackets is the total number of those who have signed up to support the campaign.

Fiji: End the lockout at Nadi Airport – 12,075 [7,969]
Iran: Esmail Abdi back in prison – free him now – 9,700 [8,372]
Algeria: New government attack on independent energy union – 9,219 [10,005]
Turkey: Smart suits, shabby treatment: Sponsor of Bundesliga teams fires union members – 6,904 [7,901]
Georgia: Time for a new labour law – 5,531 [6,070]

 

Website

Correspondents: 877 – 873

Apr
28
2018
0

Toward £5,000 – our annual fundraising campaign gets off to a good start

Fundraising: We’ve taken in just under £4,400 (including one substantial donation by a global union federation), and in the next few hours expect to take in more as we’ve just done a followup mailing to our English list. People have been extremely generous and we really appreciate the great response. Translations of the appeal have gone out to ten of our mailing lists — thanks to our volunteer translators in Italian, Tagalog, Spanish, Turkish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Czech, Japanese, and Thai. With luck, we will be over £5,000 by the end of the day today.

Mailing lists: Despite having no new campaigns for some time, we added 98 new subscribers this week to our mailing lists (mostly Arabic, but some for our English, Russian, Hebrew and Japanese lists too).

Georgia: Eric Lee was in Tbilisi most of last week, and was invited by the Georgian Trade Union Confederation to meet its younger activists, including those responsible for social media. One of them was already a LabourStart correspondent. The meeting lasted for more than an hour, and focussed on news, campaigns, and our global solidarity conferences, and was very productive. In addition, we met with a representative a smaller, independent union and the Solidarity Center as well.

Iran: Our campaign in support of jailed teacher trade unionist Esmail Abdi has now been running for more than three months. We’ve asked the Education International if it’s now time to suspend the campaign. If we do that, we’re down to just one live campaign (Turkey).

Kazakhstan: In November last year we were approached by the Norwegian union behind the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights (which LabourStart was awarded in 2016) and were asked to nominate a union deserving of the award. After a consultation among members of our executive, we recommended that the brave independent trade unionists of Kazakhstan be awarded the prize this year. We were delighted to learn this week that our suggestion was accepted and our friends in Kazakhstan will receive this vital recognition — and financial support.

Panama: We’ve been approached by a global union federation to launch a campaign in support of workers in Panama and we hope to have something live in a day or two.

Philippines: We sign up a new correspondent from the KMU union.

Thailand: We did our first mailing to our Thai language mailing list in four years, and another today as we renew our connection the labour movement in this country.

Apr
19
2018
1

It’s that time of year again: LabourStart launches its annual appeal for funds

Annual fundraising appeal: Every year around May Day we do our appeal to readers for support. This year, we’re highlighting the fact that it’s LabourStart’s 20th anniversary.

The appeal went out to the English list on Tuesday, 17.4, and was followed by mailings to our lists in Portuguese, Hungarian, Spanish, Tagalog and Turkish. We hope for translations soon to other languages. We also posted the full text today on Facebook and a shortened version on Twitter.

The initial result after 48 hours is that we’ve raised $2,583.15 (£1,820). Last year we took in £8,000 in the first 8 days of our appeal, so we’ll need to work hard to match that. We have also begun circulating an appeal to our major global union backers and to unions in Canada.

Campaigns: We are now down to just two live campaigns. If you have any thoughts about campaigns we should be launching, please do get in touch. It is particularly important to find campaigns with partners who can play a role in promoting the campaign and bringing in new supporters.

Algeria: We closed our campaign at the request of our union partners, but just days later PSI launched what seems to be quite a similar effort using change.org as its platform. After two days online, it has collected 84 supporters. PSI was one of the four partners on the previous LabourStart campaign, which closed with over 10,000 supporters.

Brazil: We’re waiting to hear from our global union partners; we have offered LabourStart as a platform in the fight to free Lula.

Georgia: At the request of the GTUC, we closed the campaign to change the labour law. We’ve confirmed meetings with the trade union leaders, including youth leaders, during Eric Lee’s visit to Georgia next week.

Turkey: We posted reminders about this important campaign on social media this week; our numbers here have stalled at 7,795, but this week a Russian language version went live, with a mailing.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising |
Apr
09
2018
0

A busy week: Updates for Algeria, Brazil, Georgia, Iran, North America, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, and the USA

Our stall at the Labor Notes conference in Chicago this weekend.

Algeria: Our campaign in support of the independent energy workers union has been extended by a month at the request of the global union federations. It has reached 9,925 messages sent, making it the largest currently-running LabourStart campaign. I encourage all of you to help us get that number up past the 10,000 mark in the next few days.

Brazil: We collected and publicised widely the many statements by international unions condemning the arrest of former president Lula.

Georgia: Three Georgian news stories this week got special attention on LabourStart and wide promotion by us on social media – the mining disaster in Tkibuli in which six workers died, a hunger strike by port workers in Batumi, and the court decision in support of Rustavi Azot workers, who were the subject of a recent LabourStart campaign. Our 8-week old campaign supporting the Georgian unions’ call for a new labour law is up to 6,070 supporters. Eric will be travelling to Georgia in another 13 days and will meet with trade union leaders then.

Global: We continued doing weekly promotions on social media aimed at attracting new, individual subscriptions to the English mailing list. We also began preparing for our annual fundraising appeals, both to individuals and to major union donors.

Iran: Our campaign demanding the release of Esmail Abdi, which is getting close to the 3-month mark, has now reached 8,356 messages sent. This is the most recent of several campaigns we’ve run demanding his freedom, and is our second most popular current campaign.

North America: We had a strong presence at the Labor Notes conference in Chicago organised and led by Derek, who drove from Ontario. We also promoted this effort in a mass mailing to our US and Canadian lists, and with a dedicated website. We had a fully kitted-out stall, distributed flyers, sold books, and signed up new supporters.

Turkey: We signed up a new volunteer correspondent, who works for a well-regarded project called Solidarity TV. Meanwhile, our current campaign targetting Roy Robson is up to 7,670 supporters and is running in 16 languages.

UK: We designed and printed 1,000 full-colour leaflets for distribution at upcoming events, including this week’s Unions 21 conference in London, with a link to a dedicated website very similar to the one we did for Labor Notes – this will be template for other ‘welcome to LabourStart’ websites as needed.

Ukraine: We responded to an appeal by metal workers, urging them to get in touch with IndustriALL.

USA: At the request of a union webmaster in Michigan, we finally completed the creation of RSS news feeds for all 50 US states, updated automatically every 30 minutes.

Apr
02
2018
0

Catching up after nearly a month …

Winners of the Ron Todd Foundation awards in London last month.

First of all, apologies for the delay in this update. I was travelling for two weeks in mid March and am just now catching up.

Campaigns:
We’ve been asked to keep our Algeria campaign, which has now been running for more than three months, live for a bit longer, and have done so. In the last five days, we’ve added only 2 new supporters. We need 77 more supporters to bring the total up to 10,000.
We received a campaign request from one of the global union federations, but they’ve not followed up yet.
We also suggested a campaign to a national trade union centre and are currently discussing it with them.
We launched our first campaign in years in the Thai language, with a mailing coming soon as well.

Conferences:
We’ll have a strong presence at the upcoming Labor Notes conference in Chicago, and will leaflet the Unions 21 conference in London later this month.
We were also invited to speak at a British trade union event in June, but there’s a scheduling conflict.

News:
We fixed a problem with country names on the Ukrainian page.
If the language you work with is still showing English names of countries and you can help with translations, let us know.

Mailings:
We sent out a mailing to the entire English list about the West Virginia teachers’s strike — the second in our series of “explainers”.
Our mailing lists grew by 427 in the last month; there were large numbers of new subscribers to our Turkish and Arabic lists this time.

Women workers:
We now have the women workers page working in all languages. If you’re willing to help, please let me know and you’ll be sent a short text to translate.
We wrote to all correspondents in the run-up to International Women’s Day urging them to post stories and tag them correctly.

Awards:
On 10 March we received the “socialism of the heart” award from the Ron Todd Foundation in London.  Other winners included the McDonald’s workers who held the first strike at the restaurant chain in the UK.

Mar
07
2018
0

New campaign launched in support of Turkish clothing workers

It’s been two-and-a-half weeks since I last updated this blog, so, apologies for that. It’s been a busy time — keep reading …

We launched a major new campaign in support of workers in Turkey who are being sacked for joining a trade union by a German clothing business, Roy Robson. After less than a week online, the campaign appears in 15 languages and has 5,853 supporters. One of our German supporters received an interesting reply from the company, which he shared with us — and which we shared with IndustriALL, whose campaign this is. Meanwhile, the company has attempted to block our messages, but we retain the option of a petition version, which we will deliver to them, even if they’re not letting individual messages through by email. We publicised on social media the fact that they were trying to block us.

The Georgia campaign which we launched just three weeks ago continues to grow. It’s now up to 5,983 supporters in 19 languages. Over 400 of those supporters were responding to the Georgian language version of the campaign. We re-discovered a problem with this campaign and have noted to avoid it in future: sometimes, when the default message text is long, we need to break it up into shorter paragraphs, otherwise some servers reject this and we get error messages.

We also had a problem with some translations of campaigns not reaching us through the usual online form. We dealt with this by storing the translations on the server as well as sending them by email, so they are not lost. This appears to now work and we have not missed any translations since then.

We heard from the Georgian union which asked us to run the previous campaign (Rustavi Azot). Here is what they reported to us: “During the entire year 2017, the company conducted a very strong pressure against the trade union organization using various means. In fact, it was a fierce battle waged against local leaders and unfortunately, they could not resist. The company destroyed the trade union, but plenty of dedicated people still remain there and, in the future, they will restart the struggle and restore the organization. The international support received through the LabourStart was of huge help to our members. When you are supported by an army of people of more than 7,000 people, this is a very big incentive and motivation. Thanks to all of you, thanks to LabourStart, thanks to IndustriALL Global Union.

We’re continuing efforts to revive dormant languages, with some success. We sent out our first mailing to our Finnish list in several years, now that we have volunteer translators again for that language. We’re currently trying to get a volunteer translator for Thai. And we’re continuing with Japanese, Swedish and other languages that we had not been using for some time.

Next month is the Labor Notes conference in Chicago, at which LabourStart will have a stall. Derek Blackadder is coordinating our effort there. This is an important event, which will have well over 2,000 participants. We’ve shipped over copies of our most recent book (on organising migrant workers), have prepared a special flyer and website, and are arranging for the ILO to ship over copies of their new book on improving trade union communications which includes a positive reference to LabourStart.

We continue to try to recruit new subscribers to the mailing lists — this is now a regular weekly effort and includes reminders on social media, as well as the occasional pop-up window on our website.

Our mailing lists continue to grow. In the last couple of weeks we added 485 addresses of campaign supporters. Most of these are added to our new Georgian language list.

We’re going to continue with regular (probably monthly) “explainers” — mailings to our list with 500 word articles by local experts. The first one was by Derek on the split in the Canadian trade unions. For our second one, we’re hoping for a US writer (we’ve already approached one) to explain the Janus case before the Supreme Court.

We’ve had a request for RSS versions of our US state newswires, so we’re working on that. We already have this in JavaScript format, but RSS works better for some.

Finally, in the UK, we’re being given an award this coming weekend by the Ron Todd Foundation. Ron Todd was the general secretary of the TGWU, a forerunner of today’s Unite the Union. We invited UK supporters of LabourStart to attend the event at the Marx Memorial Library in London.

Feb
18
2018
0

New campaign launched in support of Georgian unions – and in the Georgian language too

We launched a new campaign last week in support of the Georgian trade union movement which is fighting for a better labour law. For the first time, we are running the campaign in the Georgian language as well.  (See the screenshot on the left.)

The campaign is already live in seven languages with more to come, and has over 3,700 supporters.

We also closed the earlier Georgian campaign in support of metal workers there. Launched in November, it had 7,373 supporters and appeared in 18 languages – but not Georgian. We haven’t yet heard back from the local union on what effect it may have had.

Thanks to our new volunteer translators, we are running the Email Abdi (Iran) campaign in Japanese and Polish. It will be great to get those languages going again as we already have substantial mailing lists. We hope to also have campaigns live in Thai thanks to a new volunteer. And next week, we’ll begin the effort to revive our Arabic language campaigns as well.

Many more correspondents are now active following an appeal we sent out recently, our first direct message to our correspondents in a long time. We had 57 active correspondents this month, up from just 40 a couple of weeks ago.

We’ve heard from a group of our activists in Australia who have promised to recruit new correspondents and to try to do some of the work which Andrew Casey has done all these years.

To try to encourage people to join up to our English-language mailing list, we posted to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and added a pop-up advert on the country news pages. This has generated very few new subscribers.

Our Russian language Twitter feed is being revived – thanks to Kirill. And our French language feed is no longer protected and we’ll be seeking volunteers to help Andy with this. We were also able to gain control over the Australian LabourStart Twitter account which Andrew had set up and run, and have asked our local correspondents there to take this over.

We’re getting ready to participate in the Labor Notes conference in Chicago in April and have prepared a leaflet which we will be distributing there. We also have an advert in the conference programme and a team of volunteers which Derek is organising. We’ll have a table to distribute our publications, and to sign people up to our campaigns. This is a very important conference, with thousands of attendees, and is a great opportunity to introduce LabourStart to a North American audience.

Finally, we’ve won another award in the UK but I cannot reveal any details until it is made public in the next few days.

Feb
12
2018
2

LabourStart’s Twitter accounts

LabourStart has 18 Twitter accounts, the vast majority of which are inactive.

The active ones, however, are growing very quickly.  (Thanks to the efforts primarily of Derek.)

If you want to help with any of these, especially with the inactive ones, please get in touch – ericlee@labourstart.org.

Below the list of our accounts, we’ve added a quick survey of how some of the major international trade union institutions are faring on Twitter as well.

Most of these are quite small, especially relative to the size of the number of union members they represent.  LabourStart’s feed is larger than all but one of these.

But our feed, and those of the other global labour websites, can be MUCH larger if we all make an effort.

DescriptionFollowers TodayFollowers in December 2017Last updated
English - LabourStart19,26718,488Today
Canada - English - LabourStartCanE8,2167,745Today
Australia - AndrewSCasey2,6812,65331.1.18
USA - LaborStartUSA2,6351,898Today
Canada - French - LabourStartCanF1,9441,872Today
Italian - LS_Italia5305383.2.18
Swedish - labourstartSE3693705.10.16
Indonesia - indoz135836015.10.15
Portuguese - LabourStartPT27627829.12.17
French - labourstart_fr227230Protected
German - LabourStartDE92928.6.16
Spanish - LabourStartES707020.8.14
Japanese - labourstartjpn192122.6.12
Russian - LabourStartRU19192.6.12
Norwegian - LabourStartNO181922.5.12
Turkish - LabourStartTR15163.5.12
Dutch - LabourStartnl12126.4.12
Arabic - LabourStartAR885.5.12
DescriptionFollowers on 12.2.18
IFJ21,519
ITUC17,721
Education International13,777
UNI13,288
IndustriALL11,670
ITF7,401
PSI4,130
IUF2,950
TUAC2,678
BWI1,741
Written by admin in: Twitter |

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