Category: Uncategorized

Absence alert

LabourStart editor Eric Lee will be travelling (to Philadelphia, for the Democratic National Convention) from today and will return to London on 31 July.  He’ll have email the entire time he’s on the road, but people should refrain from contacting him except in urgent cases.  Thanks for understanding.


foThe terrorist attack yesterday in Nice has so far triggered one trade union response that I could find on the web, here.

I imagine that as the day goes along, there will be more.

Please do help us find union statements condemning the attack, particularly from global and European federations.

And let’s post them to LabourStart as we’ve done in the past, all too many times, when this has happened before.

Small glitch in our campaigns software – now fixed

logo-mysql-170x115Last week I was having some difficulty uploading files to our server (based in Iceland) which hosts

Our provider changed our login details — but what I didn’t realize at the time was that this also affected every script (programme) on our campaigns website.

So some of you may have noticed one or two things not working, relating to our database of campaign supporters (for example, scripts showing how many supporters each campaign has).  This has now been fixed, and every script now has the correct login details.

Our next conference

LabourStart’s Global Solidarity Conference in Toronto in May was still going on when we began discussions about where and when to hold the next one.  We have nothing firm to report just yet, but a heads up to all of you: we are hoping to hold it around November 2017 in Hong Kong.  More details when we have them.

The state of our current campaigns: what the numbers tell us

Here are the number of supporters for each of our current campaigns, broken down by language:


(You may want to right-click on that image above and open it in a new tab to make it more legible.)

As you can see, we currently have 7 campaigns running, all of them launched during the last 3 months.  Only one of them, the Uzbekistan campaign, has gotten over 10,000 messages sent.  The second most successful campaign — and trailing far behind — is the Peru campaign, which over 7,500 messages sent.  All of the others lag significantly behind.

Some of this will be fixed as I complete some of the translations and mailings to our Spanish and German lists, which are quite large.  But we can expect a drop-off as we enter the summer months in the northern hemisphere.

We need to do some creative thinking about how we ramp up all our campaigns to be 10,000 supporters at least, and how we break our record, set nearly three years with this campaign, of almost 22,000 messages sent.

Making LabourStart available on every device – even BlackBerries!

LabourStart has always been designed to work on every device — desktop and laptop PCs, tablets, smartphones. But we recently started receiving reports from some BlackBerry users that they were no longer able to access our campaigns on their phones.

This turned out to be due to our SSL certificate being rejected — that’s the certificate that allows us to use the https:// prefix for our campaigns, which makes the transmission of user information more secure. Our friends at WebArchitects rushed to our rescue, changing the way our certificate is done. And the result is that once again, everyone can support our campaigns — even BlackBerry users!

P.S. If you ever want to test our SSL security for the campaigns website, you can do so here. But be aware — it takes a few minutes for the test to complete. We’re currently rated A+, which is pretty good, I imagine.

Why some parts of LabourStart stopped working this week

Recently our web hosting company (1&1 Internet) announced that it was upgrading our site to newer software and some things — not clear which things — may stop working.  

And, as predicted, some things did.  Among these were:

More things may be broken as well — we’re learning about these one at a time.

All of the above were quickly fixed yesterday, but if you come across something that doesn’t work any more (on our news site, not our campaigns) — and that throws up a generic error page — please let us know by email.  Thanks!

Canada Milestone

Derek Blackadder here. A minor celebration (I’m having caffeinated coffee for a change!) this morning as the English-language Canadian Twitter feed just passed the 5,000 followers mark.

It tweets automatically (I load Hootsuite each morning with stories from the Canada English-language page) once an hour starting at 0700 Eastern and continuing until 1900 Eastern 7 days a week.

Our French-language feed lags a bit numbers-wise at 887 so we’ll be putting on a bit of a push over the next while to get that past the 1,000 followers mark. It tweets once every 2 hours starting at 0800 and ending at 1800.

From what I have read the frequency of tweets is a significant (but not the only) factor in the followers that a feed picks up and so I’m trying to figure out if the French-language feed can move to once an hour as well.