Jun
09
2017
1

Annual fundraising drive takes off; new campaign launched in support of Indonesian miners

Fundraising: One week into our annual fundraising drive and results have been good. We took in nearly £8,000 in 8 days.  Thanks to everyone who has donated and who has helped to raise money so far.

Campaigns: We launched a new campaign in support of Indonesian miners, at the request of IndustriALL. Over 3,000 of them signed up the campaign even before we began publicity. This promises to be quite a big one. We did the weekly review of translations of campaigns and mailings into the major languages, and found that we were missing translations in three of our key languages. We followed up with translators, but so far with no results.

Books: We sent out another dozen copies of our book on migrant worker organising to progressive publications, mostly in the USA. Amazon subsidiary CreateSpace is now looking into why we have not been getting their payments.

Conference: We received a detailed answer from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and will be discussing this.

Mailing list: We added 180 new subscribers – 124 of those to the English list. This does not include new supporters from the Indonesia campaign (see above).

Jun
03
2017
0

New campaign launched – Esmail Abdi on hunger strike

New campaign – Esmail Abdi – hunger strike:
This campaign went live about a week ago is already doing well, with over 6,000 supporters, and was translated into a dozen languages.
I sent out a reminder to the 71,354 people on our English list who didn’t open the message sent out a week ago.

Campaigns in the pipeline:
We are in discussions with a Canadian union on a major campaign.
UGT Spain is talking with us about a campaign focussing on workers facing jail.
A US union has also asked for a possible campaign with a long-running dispute.
We were given a campaign by a union in Turkey last week but have been asked to hold off on this for a bit.

Mailing lists:
We picked up 317 new subscribers, nearly all of those for the English list.

Fundraising drive:
We did the annual fundraising drive, which raised £2,500 in the first 48 hours. The mailing is translated into a number of languages – but some key ones still remain.

New correspondents:
We have new correspondents in Iran and the Netherlands.

Books:
We’ve now sent out review copies of our migrant workers book to 33 publications — I hope this will generate some reviews and raise awareness of the book.
We continue to have problems with CreateSpace, the Amazon subsidiary that prints and sells the books, and have continued complaining and demanding that they sort out the payments which are owed to us. They are currently looking into what the problem is.

New LabourStart flyer:
A new LabourStart brochure is in the works, our first since 2014. The English version should be ready in a few days.

Privacy issue – resolved:
After repeated requests to Google to re-crawl our site, they have finally done so. As a result, people searching for their own email addresses on Google should not find them listed on an internal LabourStart campaign, as was the case for a few weeks.

LinkedIn:
From what I can tell, we are no longer able to mail to our group on LinkedIn, which is a pity.

Publicity on social media:
Publicised China Labor Watch statement on Ivanka Trump on Facebook and Twitter.
Promoted the ITUC statement on the new South Korean president.
Publicised our extensive coverage of the Histadrut election in Israel.

May
26
2017
1

A relatively quiet fortnight

As I was travelling for eight of the last fourteen days, this will be a relatively short summary of the last fortnight at LabourStart.

Campaigns:
We closed the long-running campaign in support of jailed teacher trade unionist Esmail Abdi in Iran — but opened a new one at the request of hte Education International due to his hunger strike.
We added a text to our closed Nigerian dockers’ campaign from the ITF.
We are now completely caught up with translations of campaigns and mailings in our 8 largest languages.

Next conference: We’ve followed up with our comrades in Hong Kong.

Mailing lists: We added just 98 new names — this number is low due to the fact that we launched no new campaigns in this period.

Social media: We gave our Turkish Facebook page, which is being revived, a boost with a mailing to our Turkish language list, picking up 21 new likes.

Finances: UNISON (UK) has donated £1,000.

Site security: We did a thorough review following the massive ransomware attacks earlier this month. We’ve improved our backups, which are now comprehensive and done regularly. Our web hosting company allows us to do a malware test, which we ran, and which showed no security issues.

Books: We’ve begun sending out review copies of our book on migrant workers’ struggles — the goal is to send out about 100 copies. If you know of any publications that should receive one, please do let me know.

May
12
2017
0

Weekly round-up: We lost this round of the asbestos fight – but the struggle continues

Campaigns:

After just one month, we closed down the Asbestos campaign which we ran with APHEDA; this was a fight we lost — for now. But the campaign itself got over 7,000 supporters in a short time, and appeared in a number of languages we have not usually featured including Japanese, Indonesian, Hindi, etc.

More work was done on the pass-it-on feature (sharing campaigns by email); it’s now been tested in a number of languages. In the next few weeks, we will move to get versions working in English and French as well. There are still some issues to be worked out.

We’ve asked for permission to close the Iran campaign (Esmail Abdi) which has been running now for more than six months.

Internationalisation:

Dutch: We have another new volunteer translator, and as a result our Kazakhstan campaign is now also available in Dutch.

Esperanto: We’ve ended a 12-day-long ad campaign on Facebook which introduced LabourStart to 11,920 Esperanto speakers, 288 of whom visited this special page .
The Esperanto list, though small, has the highest rate of response to our campaigns — as high as 19.1% for the DNO Yemen campaign. That means that 1 in 5 people on the list clicked to support the campaign. By comparison, the response rate on the English list for that campaign was just 4.8%.

German: We are now caught up here with all mailings and campaigns, having done a mailing regarding the Somalia campaign. Our German list — like our Dutch — is very responsive to our appeals, and has been growing quite quickly.

Korean: The last remaining campaign and mailing which had not been translated has now been done. Thanks to our new volunteer translators, this is the first time we have had a complete set of our current campaigns available to the Korean labour movement.

Publications:

We’re going to start sending out copies of our most recent book, on migrant workers, to review editors at various progressive and labour publications. The admin stuff is all done, all we need are the addresses to send to. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Focus:

This week we’ve used our top stories feature and social media to highlight, among other things, the historically low level of strikes in Finland, the story of an Algerian trade unionist facing prison, Canada’s decision to ratify the last of the ILO core conventions, and IG Metall’s fight with Elon Musk in Germany.

We also did a special mailing to our Canadian list on the 25th anniversary of a mining disaster.

Mailing lists:

With no new campaigns, growth to the lists has inevitably slowed. Only 93 new subscribers were added this week. Our little Vietnamese language list has doubled in size, due to the Asbestos campaign.

Next week:

As I’ll be travelling with very limited Internet access, I won’t update this page until Friday, 26 May.

Apr
14
2017
0

Weekly Roundup: Massive growth in the number of Asian languages for our campaigns

Asbestos campaign: This is now live in more languages than any other recent campaign we’ve done, thanks to APHEDA’s helping getting translations of the campaign and mailing in Indonesian, Japanese, Hindi, Vietnamese, etc. We expect to add even more Asian languages as a result, including Urdu. Some of these lists are being mailed to for the first time in years. A number of global unions, including IndustriALL and the ITUC, have publicly called for a global asbestos ban this week. As of this morning, the campaign has 5,728 supporters and is running in 18 languages.

Kazakhstan campaign: This too went live in a big way this week. We have the full support of the ITUC and IndustriALL, and the IUF did a mailing to its Russian language list to promote the campaign. This morning the campaign had 4,469 supporters and appears in 6 languages so far with more translations on the way.

Madagascar campaign: This campaign is already running on the ITF site, but they have begun publicising the version on LabourStart. We’ll begin our publicity shortly.

Somalia campaign: The journalists’ union has asked for our help; expect a new campaign in the next few days.

UK: We went live with our new UK LabourStart Facebook page, publicising it on the social network itself for now; as of this morning it has 74 likes. One of the things we’ve been able to publicise there is a new podcast done by former LabourStart intern Edd Mustill. We’ll soon do a mailing to our UK list to promote this.

Mailing lists: I did two imports this week, adding people who support our campaigns, with a total of 304 new subscribers, mostly to the English list.

Publications: I’ve begun work to complete the new edition of Campaigning Online and Winning.

Publicity: We’ve begun work on a new flyer — it will be based on our 2014 flyer, with an updated text, to be distributed at union conferences this year. We’re looking into the possibility of creating versions in multiple languages.

Arthur Svensson prize: We’ve been invited to participate in this year’s ceremony in Oslo in June.

Fundraising: BWI has made a generous donation to LabourStart which arrived this week.

Mar
30
2017
0

Weekly roundup: 1 new campaign, 3 old ones closed, and much more

I haven’t been doing regular updates to Inside LabourStart — but from this week, I want to start. Here’s a roundup of the last 7 days at LabourStart:

CAMPAIGNS

  • We had a problem – for the second time in 4 months – with McAfee blocking access to our campaigns site. After sending them an email (again), they removed the block within 24 hours. I shared the news of this block on social media and to all those (7 subscribers) who complained to me about it.
  • We’ve had a proposal from the Australian unions for a campaign on asbestos. It will go live today or tomorrow.
  • In one of our shortest campaigns here, we protested against the jailing (again) of leaders of Djibouti’s teachers’ union; they were freed on Monday night.
  • With the agreement of our partners in Ukraine, we closed down the campaign in support of Kyiv’s transport workers, which got 8,272 messages sent.
  • After 3 months online, we closed down the Brazilian campaign in support of workers at the University of Sao Paulo.
  • We did a mini-campaign in the UK to build support for the trade union education programme at Ruskin College in Oxford, at the request of the staffers there who have been made redundant. It’s not hosted on our site, which means it’s not the best way to do it, but we got a large number of people to show their support for Ruskin.
  • We helped the IUF promote its campaign in support of Coca-Cola workers in Indonesia – both with a mailing to our list and publicity on the website and on social media.
  • I made a small tweak to the campaigns page so that you are now required to choose a country, and you can’t choose the first choice, which is ‘country’. You must choose an actual country.
  • I’ve begun regularly weekly reviews of our campaigns and mailings, to see if we’re missing any translations in our most popular languages. The only one which is a persistent problem is German and I’ve written to our friends in Berlin in the hope that we can sort this out.

MAILING LISTS

  • We picked up 652 new subscribers this week.
  • Because we had almost 137,000 subscribers on our mailings we pay a lot of money every month to MailChimp. We can save some money by not keeping lists there which we no longer need, so I attempted to bring us below the 135,000 threshhold, which would have saved us $300 a year – but unfortunately could not.

NEWS

  • We now have the “external ActNOW” working – meaning any correspondent can add a link to an online campaign that’s related to a news story. As of this morning, this has been tested and works everywhere.
  • I wrote to all our correspondents telling them about our state/province field, asking them use it where it exists (USA, UK, Australia, South Africa, India, Canada) and if we don’t have it for their country, to let us know and we can add it. We recently learned that in Canada in particular, this is a very popular feature on LabourStart.
  • In addition to that, on all our country news pages for those countries named above, there’s now a drop-down menu for the first time listing states, provinces and regions. This should help raise awareness that we have this feature.

PROMOTING LABOURSTART

  • The British unions BECTU and USDAW offered to let us have a stall at their upcoming conferences and if we can’t attend, to distribute printed material for us.

BOOKS

  • I wrote to all members of the LabourStart executive committee urging people to help get our books, especially the newest one on migrant workers, reviewed on Amazon. This will help boost sales and I encourage everyone reading this to help out.

DONATIONS

  • Finally, we received pledges of donations from TUAC, UNI and BWI. I am sending out reminders to all global union bodies which regularly donate to us, and so far they are all responding affirmatively.
Dec
09
2016
2

We publish our first book since 2014 – and it’s a great one

We’re reviving our publications programme with four new books in the pipeline, and that will just take us through the winter.  This is an ambitious plan and we’re starting off with a great one, with huge potential interest from the labour movement and others.

The first book of this new season is The Strangers Among Us: Tales from a Global Migrant Workers Movement, edited by Joseph B. Atkins.  This 136 page book offers readers compelling insight from 10 writers around the world (including LabourStart’s Eric Lee) about migrant workers’ rising consciousness of their rights and ability to assert those rights in a global economy that seems to place all power in the hands of mega-corporations. From tobacco workers in North Carolina to Vietnamese domestic workers in Taiwan and the network of organizations that support them, a movement is emerging that will pose a growing challenge to neoliberal rule.  The book costs just $9.99 and is available from Amazon and most bookshops.

Order your copies here: http://www.labourstart.org/go/strangers  And please – post reviews of the book on Amazon and elsewhere.

Spread the word!

Written by admin in: Publications |
Mar
28
2016
0

Our next book, new campaign, donations, and more

Books

Work is being done on our book on migrant labour which we hope to launch in Toronto. We have a cover and the inside pages are nearly done.

Campaigns

I’ve asked the KCTU and HKCTU for permission to close down the Korea and China campaigns, both of which have been running for a long time.
A new campaign in support of Turkish union GIDA-IS is about to go live.
The campaign submission page has a new field for videos so these can be incorporated into future campaigns.
I did the monthly review of translations into our major languages and identified some problems, especially with German campaigns.

Correspondents

Weekly mailings to all correspondents continue. One focussed on the use of states and regions in news stories; the other encouraged the 90% who’ve been inactive to get active.

Donations

We received a large donation from a branch of Unite the Union in the UK. The Education International and UNI have also made substantial donations to us.

News

Mahesh pointed out a problem with tweeting a news story with a apostrophe in the title.

Radio

I have submitted weekly programmes to WINS on the terrorist attacks in Brussels and the new crackdown on independent unions in Egypt.

Upcoming

On Thursday, I’ll be speaking on a panel with a leader of Unite the Union and Amnesty International’s Shane Enright on corporate campaigning, in London.

Feb
25
2016
0

The last 37 days – a lot to report …

I had wanted these to be fortnightly reports — but it’s hard to keep that going with so much happening. So, apologies for the delay. Here’s what’s happened in the last five weeks:

CAMPAIGNS

  • We asked KCTU if we can close down their 3-month-old campaign; they’ve asked us to keep it going and we will.
  • Launched two new campaigns on one day (Iran and Morocco), both concerning individuals we’d already campaigned for in the past.
  • We closed three campaigns — Mastepan (Estonia), Nermin (Libya) and Ewado (Djibouti); we reported on both in the mass mailing that went out today.  We also heard very positive news about a campaign we did with WAC in defense of a Palestinian trade union activist.
  • We launched a very large campaign demanding justice for Giulio Regeni. This came at the suggestion of our Italian comrades, and was quickly followed by support from the IUF and a positive statement also from the ITUC.  This campaign soared to 10,000 messages very quickly and continues to grow.
  • We continued to support the ITUC’s Ratify the Protocol campaign.

RADIO

We’re now submitting weekly 2 1/2 minute reports to the Workers Independent News Service (WINS) in the US. This is in addition to our ongoing cooperation with Radio Labour, based in Canada.

FINANCES

We received a generous donation from Building and Woodworkers International.

EVENTS

I spoke at a meeting of communications staffers of European unions in Gdansk, Poland last week.

CORRESPONDENTS

We’ve resumed regular mailings to correspondents, which will take place every week — after a gap of nearly 10 months.

BOOKS

The complete manuscript for the next LabourStart book, The Strangers Among Us, has been received and we’re currently formatting it. We hope to have a book launch event at our conference in Toronto.

CONFERENCE

Speaking of which — we have a large number of workshop proposals and 371 people signed up to attend; there’s an organizing committee and an intern hired, and we’ll soon have an agenda.

PUBLICITY

At the suggestion of the British TUC, we submitted a nomination form for the SMK Campaigners Awards; they will decide by the end of February and their ceremony in the House of Lords will take place on 13 April.

TRANSLATIONS

We need a new Spanish translator as our comrade David has fallen ill; we got several dozen volunteers for the job.

Jan
19
2016
0

Campaigns, conference, donations, mailing list growth – and much more

Campaigns:
We’ve asked the ITF for permission to close the Estonia campaign after 3 months. The campaign had over 8,900 supporters and appeared in 15 languages. Once this closes, we’ll only have 3 active global campaigns running.
As our Spanish translator has been ill, we need to find a new one urgently. I’m working on this today. None of our recent campaigns have appeared in Spanish, unfortunately.
We closed the Kyrgyzstan campaign after more than 4 months. The campaign had 7,752 supporters and appeared in 15 languages.
We posted translations our China campaign in several more languages. The campaign currently has just over 7,000 supporters and appears in 16 languages.
We publicized an IUF campaign (on Turkey) to our list, and used the opportunity to explain why we’d closed our recent Iran and China/Israel campaigns (with victories in both cases.)

Conference:
The conference opens in 108 days. We have 256 people registered from dozens of countries. In the next week or two we’ll have some details about workshops, topics and speakers and will do more publicity.

Donations:
UNISON in the UK has decided to donate £1,000 to LabourStart.
We’ve also been in discussions with the FNV in the Netherlands about joint work, possibly including a donation.
I will be following up with GUFs which have not donated recently.

Mailing list:
We picked up 624 new subscribers this month, mostly to the English list.

Publications:
Everything is coming together for our next book, edited by Joe Atkins, on migrant workers. We should have all we need by the end of this month, and the book should be available sometime in February (and of course for sale at our conference in Toronto).
I wrote to colleagues at the International Institute for Social History (where I participated in an all-day workshop in December) about collaborating on various projects, including a Global Labour Calendar.

Radio:
We’ve been asked by WINS (the Workers Independent News Service, based in the US) to contribute a 2.5 minute program every week and will do so. They’ve partnered with National Public Radio in the US and believe that their show will now reach an audience of 750,000 to 1,000,000. In addition to this, we continue to work closely with, and provide a weekly show for, RadioLabour based in Canada.

Ratify the Protocol:
We promoted this ITUC campaign to our mailing lists in English, Swedish and French, managing to crash their server in the process. Our efforts have more than doubled the number of people who’ve signed up. We also arranged translation of the campaign into several additional languages for them.

Twitter:
We had an exchange with a couple of senior staff at Twitter about a possible LabourStart involvement in their new Moments project; at the moment, this won’t happen but may down the road.

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