It’s not been much of summer here in London, but then again, it never is.
Here’s how we’ve spent the last 3 weeks:
We launched one in support of port workers in Gdansk, together with Solidarnosc and the ITF. As today, it has 7,045 supporters and appears in 14 languages, including Polish.
We also launched a new campaign in support of striking workers at the National Gallery in London, together with PSI and the PCS union in Britain. After just a week, the campaign has 6,140 supporters and appears in 9 languages.
We closed down the China campaign, launched in June. It had 10,373 supporters. The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions told us that the campaign helped “to spread out the message and to draw attention to the imprisoned labour activists” and “although we did not hear any feedback from the Chinese government, there is one [piece of] legislation which was mentioned in this statement restricting the operation and international connection of NGOs in mainland was postponed.”
After closing the recent Hungary campaign, we receive this from the union: “Tamás Járási, president of MCDSz, thanks all those who supported this campaign. The company was upset by it, and told workers it was not a ‘true’ campaign but ‘only a spam driven from London’, and apparently complained to the Dutch ambassador about it. The union judged the campaign to be a success, and said it strengthened morale among the workers. Meanwhile, the struggle continues.”
We have been asked for help by a union in Congo and have passed this on to UNI, who are looking into it.
We’ve agreed to help BWI with a campaign in the Gulf region later this month.
An Iran solidarity group is keen to have us help with a particular prisoner; we’ve raised this with friends at Amnesty International. It is not clear which GUF could be called upon to support this particular prisoner.
We had a request for a campaign from the Colombia Solidarity Campaign, but have not heard anything back from them after we asked some questions.
We also had a request for a campaign from Zimbabwe that stalled, and we await answers.
We’ve improved the layout of mailings to our English list to give readers the chance to sign up to campaigns they missed, to donate to LabourStart, and more.
There was an attempt to add over 100 fake addresses to one of our lists, but we spotted it and spent some time dealing with the problem. We’ll need to tighten up security on our campaigns form to prevent this happening in future.
We’ve resumed our partnership with unionized bookshop Powells.com with a low-key publicity campaign for a ‘book of the month’. This has led to a bit of an overhaul of our state news pages, with the country news pages coming next. (See the US states to see what I mean, for example Kentucky.)
Our Global Labour Movements book is currently being translated into Burmese (by the ILO office in Burma), into Portuguese (by Euan, our correspondent in Brazil) and Canadian (well, a Canadian edition) by Derek. The book is already available in English and French.
Our events module wasn’t working on some pages (e.g., Canada, Portuguese) but is now, having been fixed.
Talks & other publicity
I have been invited to speak about LabourStart campaigns to UNISON Waltham Forest, in North London.
I will also be interviewed by an Italian-language magazine based in Luxemburg, about LabourStart, thanks to Silvana.
Andy has done the translation so that our next Android app will appear in French – in addition to the versions we have in English, Norwegian and Esperanto.
Global Solidarity Conference 2016
We’re still planning on this happening next spring in Toronto, and are waiting to confirm a final date.
A lot of work was done by myself and others to prepare for next week’s Strategic Retreat in Brussels. More here when the Retreat is over.