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.


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
Education International13,777
Written by admin in: Twitter |

Esmail Abdi is free, a new campaign is launched, and we add 550 new supporters to our mailing lists

Good news: Jailed Iranian teacher trade unionist Esmail Abdi (pictured) was released from jail. We publicised this to our mailing list and on social media.

We launched a new campaign in support of locked-out airport workers in Fiji.  As of today, it already has 7,753 supporters.

We closed our Belarus campaign after five months, our Indonesia campaign after three months and our Cambodia campaign which had temporarily been revived at the request of our partners.

We supported the struggle of Tim Horton’s workers in Canada with a number of special mass mailings, as well as using social media and our Events system to promote real-world actions in support of those workers.

We continue our discussion with comrades in Taiwan about supporting their struggle on labour law issues with a LabourStart campaign.

Our mailing lists continue to grow. We added 550 more subscribers so far this month, many of them to our Arabic list. We are also now beginning to add the names of our supporters’ trade unions to the mailing lists for the first time, which will allow us to create segments based on this.

We’re going to make all LabourStart’s 30+ languages this year come alive. Each week, we’ll focus on a different one. The first one is Swedish, where despite having a mailing list of over 1,200 names, we haven’t posted a translation of a campaign for more than a year, and the news page is dormant. We’ve taken a number of steps to deal with this problem, reaching out to hundreds of Swedish trade unionists for help.

We’re publicising our main news stories almost evert day on social media — Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — as well as on our home page and through our Labour Newswires in RSS and JavaScript format. In the last couple of weeks this has included the story of an attempt to crush an independent trade union in Russia, an Argentinian government effort to encourage teachers to leave their union, the massive German metal workers strike, calls for a national strike in Fiji, and the case of Reza Shahabi, a jailed Iranian trade unionist

Derek is making a big effort to clean up our “Today in Labour History” database which is huge, but under-utilised.

And finally we’ve cleaned our our Events file, keeping only current and future events there, and are encouraging people reading this to add events from your country to LabourStart (if you don’t know how, please ask).


LabourStart in Numbers – December 2017

This is the first report in six months – sorry for the delay. The next report will come out in three months.

Some highlights:

* Our mailing are 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 only list to show significant growth was Ukrainian, which nearly doubled in size.

* We’ve had slow growth on Facebook, except for our Turkish and UK pages, which have grown spectacularly, as well as our LabourStart TV Facebook page.

* On Twitter, we’ve seen good growth for main English global feed, and massive growth thanks to the efforts of Derek and Roy, to the USA feed, which has nearly tripled in size.

* Traffic to the websites is growing. We had about 56,000 unique visitors to the news site, and the same to the campaigns site, in the last six months. The main sources of traffic continue to be the USA, Canada, and the UK.

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

Mailing lists

English: 84,753 – 86,489
French: 8,993 – 9,051
German: 6,279 – 6,274
Spanish: 5,509 – 5,525
Turkish: 4,217 – 4,262
Italian: 3,871 – 3,947
Korean: 3,773 – 3,995
Norwegian: 2,709 – 2,755
Russian: 2,580 – 2,579
Dutch: 1,667 – 1,696
Swedish: 1,243 – 1,243
Chinese: 1,074 – 1,086
Portuguese: 877 – 869
Polish: 798 – 798
Finnish: 643 – 643
Arabic: 495 – 496
Japanese: 494 – 493
Indonesian: 392 – 335
Hebrew: 276 – 279
Ukrainian: 268 – 142
Farsi: 232 – 232
Tagalog: 225 – 227
Esperanto: 169 – 172
Hungarian: 158 – 164
Danish: 97 – 100
Czech: 79 – 82
Thai: 67 – 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


Like LabourStart.org page (English): 12,379 – 12,208
Members of LabourStart group (Global Labour News and Information): 8,874 – 8,797
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 2,506 – 230
Like LabourStart UK page: 2,037 – 516
Like LabourStart page (French): 578 – 564
Like LabourStart page (German): 496 – 491
LabourStart TV – 401
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 163 – 158
Members of LabourStart Vostok (Russian): 117 – 108
Friends of LabourStart Brasil: [could not update this time]


English: 18,488 – 17,678
Canada English: 7,745 – 6,953
Australia: 2,653
USA: 1,898 – 677
Canada French: 1,872 – 1,780
Italian: 538 – 524
Swedish: 370 – 372
Indonesia: 360 – 367
Portuguese: 278 – 253
French: 230 – 230
German: 92 – 94
Spanish: 70 – 69
Japanese: 21 – 21
Russian: 19 – 19
Norwegian: 19
Turkish: 16
Dutch: 12
Arabic: 8

Website traffic (1 June – 30 November 2017)

LabourStart.org (news)

Unique users 55,884 – 35,345

Top countries (by sessions):

USA 21% – 22%
Canada 16% – 15%
UK 12% – 11%
Australia 5% – 5%
India 5% – 8%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 48,545 – 26,088
USA – English 20,156 – 7,655
Canada – English 8,527 – 5,146
India 5,175 – 4,710
UK – 3,465

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users 56,231 – 33,249

Top countries (by sessions):

UK 14% – 14%
Canada 12% – 9%
USA 12% – 14%
Indonesia 7%
Germany 6% – 7%

Most popular pages – page views:

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

Indonesia: 4,220 striking miners fired – 23,380 [14,714]
Colombia: Drop sanctions against trade union leader – 11,723 [7,703]
Cambodia: Support abandoned workers in their struggle for lost wages and benefits 8,214 [8,465]
Indonesia: Every child must go to school – ICTSI must stop targeting union members – 7,012 [7,291]
Libya: End campaign of intimidation against Nermin Al-Sharif – 6,795 [6,857]

Linked In

LabourStart group: 2,042 – 2,051


Union group on Flickr: 829 – 827


Correspondents: 873 – 864


Libya campaign grows – but not fast enough

Nermin campaign: This is now up to 6,736 supporters and is in 15 languages. This is a gain of nearly 2,000 in the last week, in part due to a second mass mailing to the nearly 73,000 people who did not open the first message we sent. We can do this in languages other than English if translators are willing to help. Support for the campaign is still lower than we would have hoped, and the previous three campaigns all have more supporters than this one.

It seems that there has been a problem with long messages in our campaigns, which recently may have been causing some bounces. This is now fixed, we think.

Our mailing lists continue to grow; this week we added 164 new subscribers, most of them to the English list, but a significant number to the German as well.

Every day we share a number of stories on social media, and highlight one major one which gets publicised across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This week, those highlighted stories included a blog on gender-based violence within trade unions, a ban on strikes in Colombia, the announcement by South Africa’s new national trade union centre SAFTU that it was on course to have 1,000,000 members by the end of the year, Indian tea workers who demonstrated at the same time as there was a big UN conference in Geneva about business and human rights, and Friedrich Engels’ birthday.

We’re almost ready with a leaflet for the new year, just waiting on some photos.

Svensson prize: we’ve had a discussion about who LabourStart might recommend for next year’s prize, and this week we’ll inform the organisers.

Our next book is the second volume of Dan Gallin’s writings. We made progress this week, but are a bit stuck with some low-quality PDFs which need to be converted to text. Anyone who has ideas about how to do this, or is willing to help, please make contact. Meanwhile, one full chapter has now been formatted correctly.


New campaign launched in support of workers in Georgia, and more …

  • We launched a major new campaign in support of workers in Georgia. It had 5,931 supporters by 12:30 today, and appears in 15 languages. I have encouraged our friends in Georgia to help with a Georgian language translation as well.
  • I closed our Cambodia campaign after three months. We’re still waiting to hear from our partners what effect, if any, our effort had.
  • We’ve had a problem for some time with our mailings in Germany and have come up with a solution. You’ll notice a small change in how we link to campaigns in future mass mailings — in all languages.
  • Derek has been leading a discussion with some of our North American correspondents about a LabourStart presence at next spring’s Labor Notes conference in the U.S.. Andrew has proposed a LabourStart presence at next year’s ACTU congress in Brisbane.
  • Our mailing lists grow by 209 this week, all of them new supporters of our campaigns.
  • At Derek’s suggestion, I’ve begun a review of all our existing Twitter accounts — some active, some not. We’re going to try to get a grip on these and grow them all, and add new ones.
Written by admin in: Campaigns,Mailing list,Twitter |

Over 6,000 supporters for our Iran campaign – our 4th campaign in August

Jailed trade union leaders in Iran.

New campaign: On 28 August, we launched a new campaign — a joint effort by the Education International and the International Transport Workers Federation — in support of jailed trade unionists in Iran. As I write these words, the campaign has 6,119 supporters.

Mailing lists: We added 569 new subscribers to 15 of our mailing lists; 360 of those were to the English list.

Translations: We have a new volunteer translator for Indonesian. Our Dutch translator has asked for help and we’ve suggested ways to cope with ever-larger numbers of campaigns. It looks like some of our other translators are struggling to cope as we launch more campaigns than ever in August.

Georgia: Eric will speak next week at the Georgian Trade Union Confederation congress. We have been helping publicise statements by the GTUC and its international partners following up on a government crackdown on independent unions, and hunger strike by railway workers.

IUF: We participated in the IUF’s 27th congress all of last week, posting a great deal of material on social media and the website. This was also an opportunity to hold informal discussions with other GUF leaders, and leading trade unionists from a number of countries.

McDonald’s: On the eve of the first-ever strike by McDonald’s workers in the UK, we participated in the demo at the corporate headquarters in north London — and posted many photos to Facebook and Twitter.


LabourStart in Numbers – March-May 2017

Some highlights:

Most mailing lists stayed more or less the same size this quarter, as the number of new subscribers due to campaigns matched the number deleted automatically from the lists due to bad addresses.

On Facebook, we saw significant growth of our group (381 new members), our new UK page picked up 516 new followers, and our revived Turkish page grew by 27% (49 new likes). On Twitter, our biggest growth was 315 more followers for our Canada (English) account and 449 for our global English account.

Traffic to the main website shrunk slightly, with a surprising number of visits (3,232) to our Delhi (India) page.  And no, I cannot explain that either.

In the list below, the first number is the current total, the second one is our previous total.  I have marked in blue where we have seen growth.

Mailing lists

English: 86,489 – 86,871
French: 9,051 – 9,032
German: 6,274 – 6,252
Spanish: 5,525 – 5,527
Turkish: 4,262 – 4,248
Korean: 3,995 – 4,171
Italian: 3,947 – 3,983
Norwegian: 2,755 – 2,772
Russian: 2,579 – 2,564
Dutch: 1,696 – 1,707
Swedish: 1,243 – 1,243
Chinese: 1,086 – 1,077
Portuguese: 869 – 848
Polish: 798 – 798
Finnish: 643 – 643
Arabic: 496 – 509
Japanese: 493 – 518
Indonesian: 335 – 346
Hebrew: 279 – 280
Farsi: 232 – 232
Tagalog: 227 – 254
Esperanto: 172 – 155
Hungarian: 164 – 149
Ukrainian: 142 – 138
Danish: 100 – 102
Czech: 82 – 81
Thai: 67 – 67
Greek: 58 – 58
Romanian: 41 – 41
Hindi: 37 – 41
Vietnamese: 25 – 13
Slovakian: 20 – 20
Bulgarian: 18 – 18
Creole: 12- 12
Sinhalese: 1 – 1


Like LabourStart.org page (English): 12,208 – 12,112
Members of LabourStart group (Global Labour News and Information): 8,797 – 8,416
Friends of LabourStart Brasil: 3,406 – 3,232 [could not update this time]
Like LabourStart page (French): 564 – 553
Like LabourStart UK page: 516
Like LabourStart page (German): 491 – 485
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 230 – 181
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 158 – 158
Members of LabourStart Vostok (Russian): 108 – 90


English: 17,678 – 17,229
Canada English: 6,953 – 6,638
Canada French: 1,780 – 1,726
USA: 677 – 662
Italian: 524 – 492
Swedish: 372 – 376
Indonesia: 367 – 366
Portuguese: 253 – 223
French: 230 – 230
German: 94 – 94
Spanish: 69 – 70
Japanese: 21 – 21
Russian: 19 – 18

Website traffic

LabourStart.org (news)

Unique users 35,345 – 42,120

Top countries (by sessions):

USA 22% – 20%
Canada 15% – 15%
UK 11% – 16%
India 8% – 5%
Australia 5% – 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 26,088 – 26,770
USA – English 7,655 – 7,630
Canada – English 5,146 – 5,354
India 4,710 – 5,097
India – Delhi 3,232

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users 33,249 – 43,979

Top countries (by sessions):

UK 14% – 18%
USA 14% – 13%
Canada 9% – 11%
Germany 7% – 7%
Spain – 6%

Most popular pages – page views:

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

Turkey: 14 union leaders face prison 13,161 [10,329]
Iran: Esmail Abdi on hunger strike 8,125 [6,868]
Kazakhstan: Stop repression, start dialogue with workers 8,069 [8,099]
Stand with Rajendra – demand action on chrysotile asbestos now 7,156 [7,001]
Madagascar: Dock workers sacked for joining a union 5,599 [6,922]

Linked In

LabourStart group: 2,051 – 2,052


Union group on Flickr: 827 – 825


Correspondents: 864 – 856


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.

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.

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.


Weekly roundup: Finally, a week without a new campaign

It was time, however, to close some campaigns. We closed the Hungary campaign, which had 7,298 supporters and which ran in 14 languages. The union wrote back to us saying “Many thanks – the thousands of signatures gave strong support to our colleagues!” We also closed the Nigeria dockers’ campaign, sponsored by the ITF. It had 7,680 supporters and it ran in 14 languages. We’re waiting to hear what effect, if any, the campaign had. We also asked for permission to close the DNO Yemen campaign, but were asked to keep it going a while longer.

Thanks to all the new campaigns we’ve launched recently, our mailing lists are growing much more quickly. This week we added 422 new subscribers; this number was just 268 last week and 183 two weeks ago.

We’re also looking for ways to encourage people to share our campaigns. Sharing our campaigns and news as Tweets on iOS devices (iPad and iPhone) has recently become problematic, though it works fine on Android and on the web. We’re working on a solution. Meanwhile, I’ve improved the “pass it on” feature which allows people to forward campaigns to their friends by email; it is now being tested in languages other than English, which I hope to roll out next week, one certain security issues have been resolved.

We continue to promote campaigns launched by others. This week, we helped publicize the IUF’s new Cambodia campaign on our news pages and social media. We also did a mailing to our Canadian list promoting a campaign on Bangladesh, organised by a Canadian union. We’re using our news pages as well to help promote union campaigns. Until this week, the ability to link to other websites’ campaigns was working in English and French; I’ve now extended this to all other languages. You can see a working example on the Spanish page (a link to the IUF’s Spanish campaign on Indonesia).

We’ve had a problem with Google indexing one of our petition pages, which is now password protected, but which allowed them for a time access to the email addresses of some of our supporters. We have tried repeatedly to get Google to re-index the site, which would clear this information from their servers, to no avail. I’ve asked friends in the online campaigning community for advice and have received some ideas.

We continue to focus on both internationalising and localising our news and campaigns. Our new UK LabourStart Facebook page, following a mass mailing to our UK list, jumped from 77 to 479 likes. And we now have a simple “photo of the day” feature working on our Brazil page (in Portuguese).

We’re very focussed on expanding our work in other languages, in particular those where we’ve already built a large mailing list. This week we made efforts in Turkish, German and Korean. I had a very productive meeting with two of our Turkish speaking comrades at the ITF, and we made plans to continue LabourStart’s expansion in the Turkish trade union movement, including a revival of our Facebook page in Turkish. Also, our German comrades have done an excellent job in clearing the backlog of untranslated campaigns and mailings. This is hugely important as not only is our German list a very large one, but we have an exceptionally high rate of response from it. And finally, one of our largest mailing lists is the Korean one, but we’ve not been receiving translations of our campaigns and mailings. I’ve written to all our current translators, and will follow up to a wider audience if this gets no results.

Last but not least, this week we were asked to submit formal requests to two unions in the UK and Norway who have offered donations.

Powered by WordPress | Aeros Theme | TheBuckmaker.com WordPress Themes