Aug
19
2017
0

David Eden, 1953-2017

David Eden, who was responsible for all of LabourStart’s translations into Spanish for many years, helping to grow our mailing list and raise our profile in Spanish speaking countries, passed away on 18 July this year.  

Some of you will have met David at the LabourStart conference in Washington, D.C. in 2009, where he was an active participant and chaired one of the sessions.

David was a lifelong democratic socialist, a member of Kibbutz Yagour and a founder of the Peace Now movement in Israel.  I first met him the early 1980s and we worked together both at the Givat Haviva educational institute and in the United Workers Party (Mapam).  David moved to the United States in 1996 where he continued to support the causes of peace and social justice both in Israel and the US.

He was a good friend and a good man, and will be sorely missed.

The LabourStart family extends its condolences to his wife Elka and his family.

May his memory be blessed.

Eric Lee

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Dec
14
2016
1

“Whatever it takes. Whatever you need. We are with you.”

Deliveroo worker and union leader – victimised for helping to organise workers.

Last night, the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) had a public meeting in central London with Deliveroo workers and other couriers.  

LabourStart co-sponsored the well-attended meeting, and editor Eric Lee was one of the speakers.  

Here is what he said:

My name is Eric Lee and I am the editor of the LabourStart website.

LabourStart is the news and campaigning website of the international trade union movement.

We do a lot of online campaigns in support of trade union rights around the world. Those campaigns are brought to us by our partners in the international trade union movement, including the global union federations, the International Trade Union Confederation, and national and local unions in many countries.

Over 135,000 trade unionists are part of our network who are mobilised when needed to support workers who are fighting for their basic human rights, for the right to join and form trade unions.

Right now, we are running campaigns at the request of unions in support of jailed trade unionists in Iran, Egypt, South Korea and Turkey; we are fighting against attempts to outlaw independent trade unions in Kazakhstan and demanding the rehiring of sacked trade union leaders in Liberia.

The fight for the right to join and form trade unions is a massive, world-wide fight. In many countries, workers do not have the possibility to join and form trade unions.

This is the case even though all workers, in all countries, have the legal right to unions because all countries are bound by the conventions of the International Labor Organisation, a United Nations body. Those conventions specifically give workers the rights to trade unions and every government in the world is obligated to uphold those rights.

Today many unions in many different countries are engaged in a fight against precarious work, and in support of regularised employment for workers. We have supported workers on this issue on many occasions, in different countries.

The struggle of Deliveroo workers here in London combines both of these issues — the right to have a trade union, and the fight against precarious work.

The so-called “gig economy” is a new way of describing an exploitative system where workers have no rights.

Where workers are poorly paid.

Where things like sick days and holidays do not exist.

Where workers can be sacked on a whim by their employer.

Where workers are treated with disrespect by their bosses.

We thought that here in the UK, we had moved beyond this. We have a proud history of trade unionism, have millions of members in powerful unions, and have won many victories over the decades.

But all that is under threat today. Even though we’re not in the situation faced by workers in Iran, where workers cannot join or form independent unions, or Turkey or South Korea where unions are struggling with repressive, anti-worker governments, we are also not where we want to be.

Trade unions in the UK have faced a historic decline, over many years.

They are a fraction of their former size. They wield much less power and influence than they did in the past. They struggle to organise new members, especially in the “gig economy”.

This is why the struggle at Deliveroo here in London is so important.

The workers at Deliveroo are not going to get decent pay, better working conditions, job security or respect at work just by asking for it.

They won’t get it with online petitions or sympathetic articles appearing in the Guardian.

They’ll win those things only when they have a powerful trade union in their workplace.

That is why I support the work being done here by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain.

You have taken on the difficult task of helping to bring a trade union to Deliveroo.

I am confident that you will win, and that Deliveroo workers will someday soon enjoy the benefits of a collective bargaining agreement.

Until that happens, we at LabourStart, and I’m sure many other trade unionists, are ready to do all that we can help — by spreading the word, by supporting meetings like this one, by helping to raise money.

Whatever it takes. Whatever you need. We are with you.

Solidarity forever!

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Oct
28
2016
0

Nominations for the 2017 Arthur Svensson Prize are now open

As you may remember, LabourStart was awarded the 2016 Arthur Svensson international prize for trade union rights.  The organizers are inviting nominations for next year’s prize — full details are here.  Please note that only “representatives and employees of trade unions throughout the world can nominate candidates for the prize.”

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Oct
24
2016
5

Meet our new interns

Meet John and Eda.

Meet John and Eda.

LabourStart has hired two new interns.  I asked them to say a few words about themselves.

Edanur Yazici:

“I’m very excited to be joining the LabourStart team. I have been an active member of a small union, the IWW for some time and I am currently serving as a local branch officer. I look forward to be able to put the skills I have gained there to good use at LabourStart. My academic background is in Politics and I have a fair bit of experience in various grassroots campaigning organisations and movements.”

John Millington:

“I am proud to be working with LabourStart. I am a former national newspaper journalist, health campaigner and currently a union activist. I am looking forward to using my skills and seven years experience to promote workers’ rights throughout the world.”

Written by admin in: Intern,Uncategorized |
Sep
30
2016
0

LabourStart joins forces with Italian labour radio station

cgilRadioArticolo1 is an online radio station of the Italian national trade union centre CGIL.  According to the Wikipedia article, CGIL with its 5.5 million members is “the biggest trade union in Europe“.  That’s debatable, but it’s certainly one of the important ones, and one we’ve worked with before on campaigns, especially with their metal workers union.

Thanks to the efforts of our comrades Silvana and Andrea, RadioArticolo1 is keen to have a regular LabourStart program, and they’re starting with an interview with me.  Once it goes live, I’ll share the link — the program will be in Italian — and let’s hope this strengthens our work in Italy and our relationship with CGIL and the Italian labour movement.

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Aug
31
2016
2

Subdomains – a useful shortcut?

LabourStart has five working subdomains – we used to have more, but our internet hosting company screwed these up, so I’ve rebuilt some of the essential ones.

As you can see from the list below, we can use these to point to our global editions in a particular language (e.g., Esperanto), or to a particular country (e.g., the UK), or a country in a specific language (e.g., Brazilian news in Portuguese). Here they are:

Would it be useful to create more of these?  They need to be done one at a time, but they could be useful especially when creating offline materials (these are shorter addresses to remember).

So for example, do we want no.labourstart.org in addition to http://www.labourstart.org/news/index.php?langcode=no ?

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Aug
26
2016
0

LabourStart is hiring – again

This message is going out today to our UK mailing list:

LabourStart is hiring!

Once again, we’re hiring an intern — to be paid the London Living Wage — and starting in October.

Everything you need to know is here:

http://www.labourstart.org/intern.shtml

Please pay special attention to these details:

  • This internship is available only to residents of the UK as it requires a presence in London.
  • And please, do not phone — we are only responding to emails.
Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Aug
20
2016
0

Brasil!

No, not the Olympics.  But Euan Gibb has been hard at work for the last year promoting LabourStart to Brazilian trade unionists and he’s produced an impressive report on what’s been accomplished so far.

Click here to read the report:

LabourStart 1-Year Report – Brasil-1

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Aug
09
2016
0

The kind of news story that makes LabourStart special

Where else would trade unionists go to learn about this story?

I was very happy to discover this news story on LabourStart today.  

I know that our volunteer correspondents trawl the net every day and find over 200 labour news stories every day, which is amazing.  Many of them are already familiar to people who follow the news, but we add value by offering comprehensive coverage of stories that otherwise get little play.

But this story is exactly the sort of thing our readers won’t normally come across, that’s not being talked about on the traditional left and labour websites, and yet is the classic example of a labour news story.

Thanks to our correspondent Andrew Casey for finding it!

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Jul
20
2016
0

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.

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |

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