Jul
20
2018
0

Russia campaign takes off

Our campaign in support of Professor Maxim Balashov and the trade union at MIPT in Moscow is growing very rapidly, thanks to a surge of support from teachers’ unions in many countries. It is our first campaign in some time to exceed 8,000 supporters, having picked up more than 2,000 new supporters in the last week.

We’ve also seen significant growth for our Norway, Korea, and XPO campaigns. (Growth for the last two is due to followup mailings sent out this week to our English list.) We’ve scheduled a similar mailing in support of the Australia campaign which will go out this evening and should jump-start that effort too, and probably bring it up to over 6,000 supporters.

Here’s a snapshot of how our campaigns are doing – the number in brackets is where stood a week ago:

Russia: Union-busting at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology – 8,006 [5,996]
Norway: Sekkingstad and Sund, stop union busting! – 7,276 [6,869]
France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,150 [7,141]
Turkey: After nearly a year on the picket lines, it’s time for DPDHL to negotiate with the union – 6,733 [6,714]
USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union – 6,727 [6,717]
Korea: Oracle workers on strike – 6,548 [5,878]
XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 6,488 [5,503]
Australia: Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers – 5,174 [5,155]
Shell – Stop cheating contract workers! – 3,562 [3,515]
Canada: Solidarity With Women Striking for a Living Wage! – 2,014 [1,884]

In other news this week …

Europe: We had extensive coverage of the Amazon strike in Spain, Germany and Portugal, both on our news pages and in social media. The strikes were timed to coincide with Amazon’s Prime Day.

Georgia: We publicised the terrible mine disaster widely on social networks.

Germany: A belated fundraising mailing produced good results, with some 26 donors giving an average of €27 each.

India: We promoted both with a mailing and on social media Traidcraft’s campaign in support of tea workers — after getting the green light from the IUF, who have also promoted this campaign.

Turkey: We promoted the IUF’s new Cargill campaign on social media.

Campaigns: We had a problem that some of our campaigns included graphics (union logos) on insecure web pages; this broke our page and some people were seeing warnings in their browsers. There were 21 campaign pages in various languages that had this problem; all of them are now fixed.

Correspondents: We signed up four new correspondents from Australia, Ireland, Liberia and Ukraine. We wrote to 28 of our correspondents in Australia appealing to them to become more active.

Events calendar: The script to delete events had been broken; we have now fixed this.

Mailing lists: We asked our translators to translate 18 words of text to encourage people to join our mailing lists – in the next few days this will be added to our campaign software, and should boost the numbers joining our lists (we already do this in English). This is a followup to changes we had to make in accordance with GDPR which bans us from automatically adding people to our lists. This week we were able to add 55 people to our lists, 42 of them to the English list.

Jul
13
2018
0

Big gains for new Norway and Russia campaigns

Here’s a snapshot of how our campaigns are doing – the number in brackets is where stood 8 days ago, when I last reported to you:

France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,141 [7,124]
Norway: Sekkingstad and Sund, stop union busting! – 6,869 [3,966]
USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union – 6,717 [6,698]
Turkey: After nearly a year on the picket lines, it’s time for DPDHL to negotiate with the union – 6,714 [6,680]
Russia: Union-busting at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology – 5,996 [-]
Korea: Oracle workers on strike – 5,878 [5,722]
XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 5,503 [5,452]
Australia: Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers – 5,155 [5,063]
Shell – Stop cheating contract workers! – 3,515 [3,065]
Canada: Solidarity With Women Striking for a Living Wage! – 1,884 [1,740]

The Norway campaign seems poised to become our largest current campaign very soon. The Russia campaign picked up just under 6,000 supporters in one week, so it’s also doing quite well. The Shell campaign is continuing to run in English only, and for slightly longer than planned, and has picked up 450 new supporters in its “overtime” run.

In other news …

Brazil: UNI’s story demanding justice for Lula is shared widely on social networks.

Colombia: We shared the Education International’s story about repression of trade unionists widely on social networks.

New Zealand: We promote the strike by 30,000 widely on social networks.

Spain: We share the story of the Amazon workers strike widely on social networks.

Advertising: We haven’t paid for a Facebook ad for some time, so this week we did this to promote the new Russian campaign. So far we spent $70.51, our ad was shown to 11,389 people, and 113 seem to have clicked on it. Next time we’ll add our own code to see precisely how many people support a campaign due to advertising on Facebook.

Donations: Another Norwegian union makes a very generous donation to us. Another branch of Unite the Union in the UK also makes a donation. And we belatedly do the fundraising mailing to our German list — and get a substantial number of small donations as a result.

Events calendar: We fix the script to delete old events, which had not been working for some time.

Facebook group and page: We had quite a backlog of people asking to join the group; we’ve now mobilised more people to be admins so this should be resolved.  We add a couple more admins to the page as well, to ensure that we have fresh content all the time.

Mailing lists: We add 175 campaign supporters in 10 languages to the lists.

Tweeting our campaigns: We’ve had complaints that the Twitter link on our campaigns landing page wasn’t working; we did extensive testing on multiple browsers and operating systems and could not reproduce the problem.

Jul
05
2018
0

Nine campaigns running at the same time – a new record?

It’s hard to believe that only a month ago, we were worried that soon we’d have no new campaigns on LabourStart, as we were down to just one. All that has now changed, and currently are running no fewer than nine (9) campaigns at once.

Here’s a snapshot of how our campaigns are doing – the number in brackets is where stood 16 days ago, when I last reported to you:

  1. France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,124 [7,051]
  2. USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union – 6,698 [6,563]
  3. Turkey: After nearly a year on the picket lines, it’s time for DPDHL to negotiate with the union – 6,680 [5,373]
  4. Korea: Oracle workers on strike – 5,722 [3,503]
  5. XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 5,452 [4,730]
  6. Australia: Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers – 5,063 [134]
  7. Norway: Sekkingstad and Sund, stop union busting! – 3,966 [-]
  8. Shell – Stop cheating contract workers! – 3,065 [-]
  9. Canada: Solidarity With Women Striking for a Living Wage! – 1,740 [-]

Canada: At the request of Unifor, we launched a campaign in English and French, targetted only at Canadians.

Georgia: Eric spent a week in Tbilisi, speaking at a conference, and had a chance to meet with three local trade union leaders.

Global: At the request of IndustriALL we launched a time-limited global campaign on support of their campaign at Shell. The campaign will only run in English and only for a few days.

Norway: We launched a major new campaign, with the support of the IUF and the local union NNN.

USA: The terrible Supreme Court “Janus” decision – we have comprehensive coverage on the site, and give special publicity to statements from the ITUC and the GUFs.

Campaigns: We were alerted to a bug in how we had been displaying campaigns. It turns out that while the page is secure (with https), if we include photos without the https the lock icon disappears. This has now been fixed and noted for the future.

Donations: Three Norwegian unions make generous donations to LabourStart. A branch of a major British union also donates £100.

Events calendar: We continue adding events regularly to our calendar, from the USA, UK and elsewhere.

Mailing lists: We publicise our mailing list signup form, which is GDPR compliant (for the English list only at the moment) on social media. We add 203 new subscribers to our lists; 129 are English and 35 are Norwegian, due to the new campaign.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Events,Fund-raising,Mailing list |
Jun
19
2018
1

New campaigns, reviving our events calendar, donations, privacy and more

First of all, a snapshot of how our campaigns are doing:

1 XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 4,730
2 Korea: Oracle workers on strike – 3,503
3 Turkey: After nearly a year on the picket lines, it’s time for DPDHL to negotiate with the union – 5,373
4 Australia: Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers – 134
5 USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union – 6,563
6 France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,051

Australia: With so many campaigns launching at the same time, we’ve held off on promoting the Esso campaign here, but will be doing so this week. It was very important in this case, as with all campaigns, to see evidence that our partners have been informing their own members and affiliates and not simply relying on LabourStart’s own base of supporters.

Caribbean: We offered our support for a campaign backing bank workers in their dispute with RBC, but have not yet heard back.

India: A massive strike by power workers which has been announced gets spread around a lot on our website and social media. We also add a new correspondent from India.

North Korea: We promote our North Korea news page on social media to coincide with the Trump-Kim summit, raising the question of workers’ rights.

Russia: We gave extensive publicity to the BWI article about deaths of construction workers who built the stadiums for the FIFA World Cup.

South Korea: We went live with the campaign in support of striking Oracle workers to coincide with the UNI Global Union congress in Liverpool.

Spain: We were asked to submit an article about LabourStart for the union magazine Noticias Obreras and have done so.

Turkey: We launched the campaign in support of DHL workers, and sent our a reminder message a week later (today). This morning there were 5,155 supporters and the campaign was already translated into 13 languages.

XPO campaign: We continue to launch in additional languages and send out mailings. We had problems with the campaign as two of the company targets attempted to block our messages. The campaign got a good, early push from the Teamsters union in the US before we even started our publicity, and this is exactly the kind of support from our partner which is so important for these campaigns.

USA: We had expressed some concern that the union whose workers are involved in the Wendt campaign had not informed its members as not a single member of that union had supported the campaign. Our repeated efforts and those of the global union federation involved resulted in 14 members of the union (which claims 120,000 members) eventually supporting the campaign. In other words, of the 6,563 trade unionists who have signed up to support the campaign, 99.8% came from other unions. This is a matter of some concern and we need to discuss among ourselves and with our union partners how to solve this persistent problem.

Events calendar: We wrote to all correspondents encouraging them to post items for our calendar, and slightly redesigned the login page to make this clearer. We continue to add events regularly from the UK and USA.

Finances: We received generous donations in the last week from BWI, UNI and several Canadian unions. We’re waiting on the translation into German of our annual fundraising appeal and hope to have this ready very soon.

Mailing lists: Despite new restrictions which we feared would drastically reduce the number of people joining our mailing lists after supporting our campaigns, those lists continue to grow well. We picked up 560 new subscribers on seven lists.

Privacy: Our privacy page in English now links to all 11 translations that have been done; we note the remaining key languages which have not yet been translated and will try to follow up with these in the next few days.

Jun
10
2018
0

After a long drought, we are flooded – 4 new campaigns in the last 3 weeks

The last three weeks have been busy ones, with a number of new campaigns after a long period without any.

Australia: We launched a new campaign in support of Exxon Mobile workers, at the request of Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Canada: At the request of two Canadian unions, we did two mailings to our list in that country informing people of jobs available in those unions. Derek represented LabourStart at the CUPE Ontario Division conference.

France: We launched a campaign in support of the railway workers fighting against privatisation, at the request of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF). It is our largest current campaign with 6,928 supporters as of this morning, after three weeks online. The campaign appears in 15 languages.

Georgia: We publicised the Tbilisi Metro strike and the Chiatura miners’ strike as top global news stories, and across social media.

Global: We promoted the ITUC’s annual report on trade union rights as a top global news story, and also on social media. Two more global union federations have pledged to make donations to LabourStart this year.

Italy: The victory of Amazon.com workers is made a top global news story, and promoted widely on social media.

Norway: We’ve been informed that a campaign is on the way. We also received a very generous donation from the union IndustrieEnergie.

Russia: The supreme court decision to allow an independent trade union to continue to function is made a top global news story, and promoted widely on social media.

Spain: The IUF’s report on an extraordinary workers’ march is promoted as a top global news story, and also across social media.

Turkey: We launched a new campaign in support of DHL workers, at the request of the ITF and the European Transport Workers Federation. We closed the Roy Robson campaign at the request of IndustriALL; it had 7,985 supporters.

UK: We had a two hour meeting at the TUC, with a leader of their campaigns and communications team. We promoted the story about UK strikes being at a historic low as a top global news story, and across social media.

USA: We launched a new campaign in support of workers at Wendt, a company in Buffalo, New York, at the request of BWI. As of this morning, it has 5,407 supporters. Nearly 700 of those came due to a followup mailing to the English list, something which we regularly do a week after the initial mailing. We should consider doing the same for some of the other language lists, especially the larger ones. We also promoted the news about an impending strike by the Teamsters at UPS and the massive strike in Las Vegas as top global stories, also on all our social media platforms.

Events calendar: We have an events calendar that appears on country pages and we’re keeping it updated, especially for the USA, Canada and the UK. If correspondents want to help on this, don’t hesitate to ask for help or advice.

GDPR: Our newly revised privacy statement is now live in many languages, and in all cases we’ve sent out a mailing to our lists explaining this. We’ve made a change in our campaigns — now, if you don’t click saying you want to be added to our list (which is no longer checked by default), you’re prompted again on the landing page to do so. We’re continuing to improve the wording of this, and will begin rolling it out in other languages too.

Mailing lists: Our lists grow by 125 new subscribers, as we review campaign supporters in 17 different languages.

May
21
2018
1

Canada, France, the UK, and more – the last 10 days at LabourStart

Canada: LabourStart will have a presence at the upcoming convention of the public sector union CUPE in Ontario; we’ve developed a dedicated welcome page for delegates to introduce them to LabourStart.

France: We have a new campaign coming up, from the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), in support of French railway workers in their fight against privatisation. We hope to launch this today.

UK: At the request of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), we did a mailing our UK list (12,190 addresses), which quickly generated over 500 additional responses to their campaign in support of striking workers at the TGI Fridays restaurant chain. We had earlier met with some people from the union on the TUC march for a new deal for workers and discussed ways LabourStart can help.

GDPR: We will be sending out mailing to our lists this week about the General Data Protection Regulation which comes into force this week. Learning about this, asking around, and getting a sense of what other campaigning organisations are doing has consumed a greal deal of time and energy in recent weeks.

Global Solidarity Conference 2019: We’re having a lot of conversations with people about holding a LabourStart conference in the USA next year. More details coming soon.

Wikipedia: Thanks to everyone who offered to help maintain the LabourStart pages on Wikipedia and to translate them – we’ll be getting back to all of you shortly.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Mailing list |
May
11
2018
0

May Day, events calendar, fund-raising, privacy and more …

May Day: Following an appeal to correspondents, we tripled the number who posted news on May 1st, and posted well over 200 news stories on the day. A number of previously-inactive correspondents have gotten involved again, in some cases after requesting new passwords from us.

Events calendar: This is a little-used part of our home page for individual countries, but it could be a great service for the labour movement. Any correspondent can add events; to do so, click on the link after you’ve logged in to post news. In the last couple of weeks, we added quite a few new events, mostly to the UK and USA pages. Please add more.

Fundraising: We’ve taken in about £7,000 since we launched our fundraising appeal last month; this is not bad, and overall 2017-18 was a good year.

GDPR: To comply with this EU directive, we’ve amended the Privacy statement on LabourStart and unticked the box on our campaigns page, meaning that people who now wish to join our mailing list must click the box in order to do so.

Germany: Eric Lee met with a delegation of German trade unionists who were in the UK on a study visit; he made a presentation and distributed fliers about LabourStart.

Iran: We closed the Esmail Abdi campaign after more than three months and are awaiting a response from the global union on what effect, if any, our campaign had.

Panama: We were asked to prepare to launch a campaign on this, but the global union has decided to do this on their own; we’ve asked why and they’ve promised to get back to us on this.

Ukraine: Our Ukrainian language home page now works like our Russian one, with headlines and more.

Zimbabwe: We offered to campaign in support of teachers in their struggle, but in the end it turned out not to be necessary as an agreement was finally reached with the government.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Correspondents,Events,Fund-raising |
Apr
28
2018
0

Toward £5,000 – our annual fundraising campaign gets off to a good start

Fundraising: We’ve taken in just under £4,400 (including one substantial donation by a global union federation), and in the next few hours expect to take in more as we’ve just done a followup mailing to our English list. People have been extremely generous and we really appreciate the great response. Translations of the appeal have gone out to ten of our mailing lists — thanks to our volunteer translators in Italian, Tagalog, Spanish, Turkish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Czech, Japanese, and Thai. With luck, we will be over £5,000 by the end of the day today.

Mailing lists: Despite having no new campaigns for some time, we added 98 new subscribers this week to our mailing lists (mostly Arabic, but some for our English, Russian, Hebrew and Japanese lists too).

Georgia: Eric Lee was in Tbilisi most of last week, and was invited by the Georgian Trade Union Confederation to meet its younger activists, including those responsible for social media. One of them was already a LabourStart correspondent. The meeting lasted for more than an hour, and focussed on news, campaigns, and our global solidarity conferences, and was very productive. In addition, we met with a representative a smaller, independent union and the Solidarity Center as well.

Iran: Our campaign in support of jailed teacher trade unionist Esmail Abdi has now been running for more than three months. We’ve asked the Education International if it’s now time to suspend the campaign. If we do that, we’re down to just one live campaign (Turkey).

Kazakhstan: In November last year we were approached by the Norwegian union behind the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights (which LabourStart was awarded in 2016) and were asked to nominate a union deserving of the award. After a consultation among members of our executive, we recommended that the brave independent trade unionists of Kazakhstan be awarded the prize this year. We were delighted to learn this week that our suggestion was accepted and our friends in Kazakhstan will receive this vital recognition — and financial support.

Panama: We’ve been approached by a global union federation to launch a campaign in support of workers in Panama and we hope to have something live in a day or two.

Philippines: We sign up a new correspondent from the KMU union.

Thailand: We did our first mailing to our Thai language mailing list in four years, and another today as we renew our connection the labour movement in this country.

Apr
19
2018
1

It’s that time of year again: LabourStart launches its annual appeal for funds

Annual fundraising appeal: Every year around May Day we do our appeal to readers for support. This year, we’re highlighting the fact that it’s LabourStart’s 20th anniversary.

The appeal went out to the English list on Tuesday, 17.4, and was followed by mailings to our lists in Portuguese, Hungarian, Spanish, Tagalog and Turkish. We hope for translations soon to other languages. We also posted the full text today on Facebook and a shortened version on Twitter.

The initial result after 48 hours is that we’ve raised $2,583.15 (£1,820). Last year we took in £8,000 in the first 8 days of our appeal, so we’ll need to work hard to match that. We have also begun circulating an appeal to our major global union backers and to unions in Canada.

Campaigns: We are now down to just two live campaigns. If you have any thoughts about campaigns we should be launching, please do get in touch. It is particularly important to find campaigns with partners who can play a role in promoting the campaign and bringing in new supporters.

Algeria: We closed our campaign at the request of our union partners, but just days later PSI launched what seems to be quite a similar effort using change.org as its platform. After two days online, it has collected 84 supporters. PSI was one of the four partners on the previous LabourStart campaign, which closed with over 10,000 supporters.

Brazil: We’re waiting to hear from our global union partners; we have offered LabourStart as a platform in the fight to free Lula.

Georgia: At the request of the GTUC, we closed the campaign to change the labour law. We’ve confirmed meetings with the trade union leaders, including youth leaders, during Eric Lee’s visit to Georgia next week.

Turkey: We posted reminders about this important campaign on social media this week; our numbers here have stalled at 7,795, but this week a Russian language version went live, with a mailing.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising |
Apr
09
2018
0

A busy week: Updates for Algeria, Brazil, Georgia, Iran, North America, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, and the USA

Our stall at the Labor Notes conference in Chicago this weekend.

Algeria: Our campaign in support of the independent energy workers union has been extended by a month at the request of the global union federations. It has reached 9,925 messages sent, making it the largest currently-running LabourStart campaign. I encourage all of you to help us get that number up past the 10,000 mark in the next few days.

Brazil: We collected and publicised widely the many statements by international unions condemning the arrest of former president Lula.

Georgia: Three Georgian news stories this week got special attention on LabourStart and wide promotion by us on social media – the mining disaster in Tkibuli in which six workers died, a hunger strike by port workers in Batumi, and the court decision in support of Rustavi Azot workers, who were the subject of a recent LabourStart campaign. Our 8-week old campaign supporting the Georgian unions’ call for a new labour law is up to 6,070 supporters. Eric will be travelling to Georgia in another 13 days and will meet with trade union leaders then.

Global: We continued doing weekly promotions on social media aimed at attracting new, individual subscriptions to the English mailing list. We also began preparing for our annual fundraising appeals, both to individuals and to major union donors.

Iran: Our campaign demanding the release of Esmail Abdi, which is getting close to the 3-month mark, has now reached 8,356 messages sent. This is the most recent of several campaigns we’ve run demanding his freedom, and is our second most popular current campaign.

North America: We had a strong presence at the Labor Notes conference in Chicago organised and led by Derek, who drove from Ontario. We also promoted this effort in a mass mailing to our US and Canadian lists, and with a dedicated website. We had a fully kitted-out stall, distributed flyers, sold books, and signed up new supporters.

Turkey: We signed up a new volunteer correspondent, who works for a well-regarded project called Solidarity TV. Meanwhile, our current campaign targetting Roy Robson is up to 7,670 supporters and is running in 16 languages.

UK: We designed and printed 1,000 full-colour leaflets for distribution at upcoming events, including this week’s Unions 21 conference in London, with a link to a dedicated website very similar to the one we did for Labor Notes – this will be template for other ‘welcome to LabourStart’ websites as needed.

Ukraine: We responded to an appeal by metal workers, urging them to get in touch with IndustriALL.

USA: At the request of a union webmaster in Michigan, we finally completed the creation of RSS news feeds for all 50 US states, updated automatically every 30 minutes.

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