Jan
16
2019
0

Our first campaign of the new year launched

The first two weeks of the new year have seen a surge of activity, including a new campaign in support of railway workers in Thailand.

Australia: We shared the story about the Australian government documents and the MUA dispute as a top global news story and on social media.

Bangladesh: We promoted UNI’s story on the garment workers strike as a top global news story, and across social media.

Finland: We had a meeting in London with one of our most active and veteran Finnish correspondents, and discussed future collaboration.

Hungary: Following up on our campaign in December, we shared the story about the ongoing protests and upcoming strike in Hungary as a top global news story and on social media.

India: We had exemplary coverage of the general strike, which was possibly the largest strike in human history, both as top global news stories and across social media.

Korea: We promoted a story about the dramatic end of a smokestack sit-in as a top global news story and across social media.

New Zealand: We welcomed a new correspondent.

Thailand: We launched a new campaign at the request of the ITF, our first campaign of 2019. After just six days online, it has over 5,000 supporters and appears in 12 languages with more on the way.

UK: We helped a UK charity promote their annual campaigner prize, asking our supporters to suggest candidates. LabourStart won the prize two years ago.

Ukraine: We promoted a story about women mine workers in Ukraine on hunger strike as a top global news story, and across social media.

USA: We shared the story about Tesla’s unwillingness to buy a GM plant in Youngstown because it’s unionised – as a top priority global news story, and across social media. We also promoted the story about the Florida McDonald’s walkout across social media and as a top global news story. And we gave a lot of coverage to the ongoing Los Angeles teachers’ strike, both as top global story and across social media.

Zimbabwe: The ITUC Zimbabwe story is promoted as a top global story, and shared widely on social media.

Executive: The members of LabourStart’s Executive held their first quarterly videoconference following up three months later on the decisions taken in Barcelona. They discussed, among other things, the addition of new members to the Executive and a global conference in 2019. More details coming soon.

Internationalisation: We focussed on Spanish and began moving toward a translation of the interface for adding news, as well as a signup page for new correspondents in that language. We also fixed the problem of showing country news in Spanish for countries with spaces in the names (e.g., Costa Rica). But we need to fix this for other languages too and will do this shortly.

Mailing lists: We imported 192 new subscribers to our lists in the first two weeks of the new year. We raised the question of how to grow mailing lists in the post-GDPR era to the e-campaigning forum and received some helpful ideas, which we will be implementing in our campaigning platform.

Dec
31
2018
0

Final update for 2018: A setback in Hungary ends a year of activism

I thought I’d get off an update before 2018 ends. Here’s what we’ve been up to for the last 12 days:

Cambodia: We publicised the story about 95 NGOs condemning convictions of union leaders in Cambodia, sharing it widely on social media and as a top global news story on LabourStart.

Canada: Our CUPW campaign got a boost, in part due to the Hungary mailing (see below), picking up 653 new supporters in the last week, and becoming our largest active campaign. It currently has 8,412 supporters and we may be able to push this up to 10,000.

China: A new campaign has been suggested to us; we’re waiting to see if a partner can be found.

Global: Today, we shared the IFJ’s news report about 94 journalists being killed this year both as a top global news story on LabourStart, and across social media.

Hungary: We closed our campaign eight days ago, after the President signed the “slave law”. The campaign was only live for five days, got 7,288 supporters, and appeared in 13 languages. The Hungarian unions gave us a text to use to sum up what happened. We followed this with a mass mailing to all our lists reporting on this setback (because we make a point of being honest and transparent, and we share good news and bad). The mailing encouraged people to support our other active campaigns, to follow us on social media, and to donate — two days before Christmas. Because of that, response rates were low.

India: We shared a story about the 30,000 strong farmers’ “long march” as a top global news story, and on social media, as well as making it our photo of the week. We did the same with a story about a hunger strike by Indian teachers.

Philippines: We shared a story about a protest camp story as a top global news story and across social media.

UK: We supported the TUC’s campaign in support of restaurant workers at TGIF with a mass mailing to our UK list.

Zimbabwe: We promoted our Zimbabwe news page with its stories about the hospital strike as a top global story and across social media.

Correspondents & Translators: We wrote an end of year message to all correspondents and translators – especially to encourage inactive correspondents to contribute again, and to encourage inactive translators for specific languages to get involved again. In that message I was able to point out some interesting (to me) numbers:

As of today, our correspondents have posted over 45,000 news stories this year on LabourStart. That’s 124 stories every day, on average.

There were a total of 107 active correspondents this year, posting about 421 stories each, more than one every day.

LabourStart’s news is read by tens of thousands of trade unionists. This year we had 791,732 visitors to the web site. Many trade unionists depend on LabourStart to keep them up to date with what is in happening in the international trade union movement.

Internationalisation: We fixed the home page in French to work like the one in English, which means that Canadian stories no longer dominate the top of the page.

Mailing lists: In an end of year boost, we added 672 new subscribers to our lists – most in English and Russian.

Nov
20
2018
0

November update: 2 campaigns launched, we revitalise LS in Spanish, German, Swedish, etc

Brazil: Following the election, we promoted the EI story about Brazil as a top global news story and across social media.

China: We promoted the story about a Chinese firm that forced workers to eat cockroaches and drink urine – as a top global news story, and on social media. Two officials at the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions signed up as LabourStart correspondents.

Germany: We renewed our Twitter account in German, and are posting to it every day. We now follow well over 400 other accounts and some of those have started following back, and as a result, this month we’ve picked up about 20 new followers. It’s a beginning.

India: We shared the ITUC story on erosion of labour laws in India as a top global news story and widely on social media. We also participated in a London meeting of various NGOs and campaigning organisations in the UK in support of workers in the tea plantations of Assam; the organisers of the event publicly thanked LabourStart for promoting their campaign targetting UK tea companies.

Indonesia: We shared the IUF story on Coca-Cola struggle as a top global news story and widely on social media.

Kazakhstan: We launched a new campaign at the request of many global and national unions to protest the repression of trade unionists here. In the first 5 days online, the campaign has over 3,600 supporters and appears in 11 languages.

Philippines: We shared a story about a trade unionist being killed in the Philippines on social media.

Spain: We are in discussion with one of the national trade union centres about a possible campaign, to be launched soon.

Sweden: We resume doing mailings to our Swedish list now that our campaigns are once again being translated into Swedish. We now have 7 volunteer translators for Swedish.

Thailand: We launched a new campaign at the request of IndustriALL to protest the behaviour of Mitsubishi Electric. After 12 days online, the campaign is in 13 languages and has over 5,450 supporters.

Turkey: We shared the ITUC story on the murder of a trade union leader as a top global news story and widely on social media. Our campaign in support of workers at Istanbul’s new airport, launched six weeks ago, is now in 23 languages, and has almost 8,700 supporters.

UK: We had a long meeting at Unite the Union’s headquarters to discuss future joint work. We created a meme in support of RMT strikers on the London Underground and post it on social media. It is very widely shared.

Finances: We thanked TUAC for their generous donation. Amazon has begun to pay us — finally — for books we have published using their CreateSpace platform and Kindle.

Internationalisation: We’re getting our campaigns framework translated into Kurdish and Nepalese and we had a campaign translated for the first time in a long time into Arabic. The Spanish home page now has all country names translated into Spanish, where we are now showing top global news stories, as we do in some other languages. Derek has also begun tweeting in Spanish.

Mailing lists: We added 93 new subscribers, who opted-in from campaigns.

News: We fixed the link that allows correspondents to change their default language and country, and tested it.

Nov
02
2018
0

Reviving our campaigns and mailings in Italian, Polish, Arabic and other languages

Brazil: We gave extensive publicity to the IUF’s powerful editorial on the eve of the elections.

Canada: We did a mailing to our Canadian list promoting CLIFF, the labour film festival.

Italy: As we were having some difficulties getting our campaigns and mailings translated, we invited 819 Italian speakers on our English mailing list to volunter to help with translations — and have been inundated with many positive responses.

Poland: We did something similar to the Polish list, and now have translators and translations of our campaigns after a very long time.

Spain: We have been approached by Spanish unions about launching a campaign and hope to do this shortly.

Turkey: We shared Human Rights Watch’s story about the Istanbul airport struggle widely. At the moment, our campaign has 8,459 supporters and appears in 21 languages, with more coming. This campaign too should rise to above 10,000 supporters.

USA: We shared Unite Here’s Marriott campaign to social networks. We also shared widely a news story from the USA about journalists in new media who are organising and voting to strike.

Campaigns: We’ve improved the ability to share campaigns by email with friends in English. The French version is also being prepared now. We also now have translations of a basic text to use 7 days after a campaign launch, when writing a followup message to people who haven’t yet opened our mailing — this is now in English, French, Italian, Russian and Turkish, and our campaigns will now always receive a boost after a week in those languages. (Previously, we did this only in English.) Our attempts to find new volunteer translators for our campaigns in Arabic has not yet resulted in anything concrete, despite writing directly to more than 2,000 Arabic speakers on our English list.

Mailing lists: We added just 45 new subscribers to our lists, most of them for our Turkish list.

Articles: We shared Eric’s article from the current issue of International Union Rights magazine, on the subject of online campaigning as a top news story on LabourStart and on social networks.

Oct
24
2018
0

Istanbul airport campaign coming up to 8,000 supporters and 20 languages

It’s been another busy time here at LabourStart over the last 10 days.

Australia: We promoted the ACTU’s nationwide protests as a top global news story on LabourStart, and across social media. Our Australian Twitter account had been suspended by the company, but we’ve now managed to get it reopened.

Global: Shared widely on social media and made a top global story out of the IFJ campaign for a UN convention to protect journalists.

Iran: We shared an Education International story about repression of teacher trade unionists widely on social media. We also shared widely an International Transport Workers Federation story about attacks on transport workers.

Russia: We closed our campaign in support of Professor Maxim Balashov after three months. The campaign ended with 9,456 messages sent in 17 languages.

Saudi Arabia: We publicised the story about Jamal Khashoggi from the IFJ on social media.

Turkey: We begin a second round of followup mailings to our Turkish and French lists to promote this campaign, which now appears in 19 languages and has just under 8,000 supporters. We’ve been working to get global trade unions to share the link to the campaign.

Turkmenistan: We shared widely the IUF statement supporting a large global campaign on this country.

UK: We helped the London Labour Film Festival promote their upcoming special preview showing of the new film “Peterloo”.


Fundraising: We’ve continued with a series of emails to leading global, regional and national unions asking for their support to mark our 20th year.

Mailing list: We continued with monthly promotions to social media, hoping to grow the English mailing list which is currently at 80,860 subscribers. We imported 203 new addresses from our campaign supporters to 14 of our mailing lists; 80 are for the English list and a record-breaking 70 for the Turkish one.

Site redesign: We wrote to all correspondents asking for their “shopping list” of things they’d like to see improved on LabourStart, and have begun to collate these.

Oct
14
2018
0

5,500 messages, 10 languages, 3 days – a new campaign supporting Istanbul airport workers

Afghanistan: We don’t often get news stories from here, but IndustriALL had something to report, so we gave it publicity both on our home page and on social media.

Australia: We added one more correspondent this week.

Colombia: IndustriALL had a major story about continuing violence; we shared it very widely.

Finland: Our current campaigns are now in Finnish and we’ve done our first mailings to the Finnish list in a very long time.

Iran: We shared widely a story about North American teamsters supporting their brothers and sisters in Iran.

Spain: Members of the LabourStart Executive met in Barcelona, at the regional headquarters of the CCOO union. They met with officials from both CCOO and UGT.

Thailand: We added a new correspondent.

Turkey: We launched a major new campaign last week in support of workers at Istanbul’s new airport, at the request of their national trade union centre, DISK. After less than three days online, the campaign has over 5,500 supporters and appears in 10 languages, with more on the way.

UK: We added another new correspondent. The McStrike at McDonald’s and other restaurants is given wide promotion on our site and on social media.

USA: We share Unite Here’s Marriott campaign as LS top story, and on social media. We also shared the IUF’s story and other stories about this strike widely on social media. We added one new correspondent from the USA this week.

Zimbabwe: We shared the ITUC’s story about anti-union repression widely on our site and on social media.

Google+: Google has announced plans to shut down its social network, which failed to challenge Facebook’s dominance successfully, and we’ve deleted links to our dormant page there from all pages on our site. If, however, you still spot one of these links, please let us know.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Correspondents |
Oct
04
2018
--

Relaunching our Finnish language campaigns – and more

It’s been another busy week.

Finland: Eight people responded to our appeal for volunteer translators as we attempted to revive our campaigns in Finnish; one of the campaigns has now been translated (see below) — our first Finnish language campaign in a long time.

Germany: We gave wide publicity to the Amazon workers strike, both as a top story on LabourStart and on social media — and a day later Jeff Bezos raised pay world-wide. Coincidence?

Global: We gave extensive publicity to the upcoming World Day for Decent Work (WDDW).

Iran: Our campaign in support of jailed teacher trade unionist Mohammed Habibi is now up to 10,484 supporters — and is our first campaign with more than 1,000 French-language supporters. This week it appeared in Finnish, making a total of 19 languages.

Isle of Man: We posted our first news story ever from this country.

Korea: We gave wide publicity to the story about Samsung’s anti-union activities, on social media.

Nigeria: We gave extensive publicity to the ITUC’s coverage of the general strike in this country.

Russia: We reviewed which languages were not yet covered in our campaign in support of Professor Balashov and our translators in Hebrew, Japanese and Turkish quickly responded with new translations. This campaign is slowly moving towards 10,000 supporters, with 9,424 so far. We’ve asked the Education International for help in promoting this campaign to their affiliates.

Somalia: We continued a dialogue with a Somali trade unionist, introducing him to the institutions of the global labour movement which might be willing to help build independent, democratic unions in his country.

Switzerland: We participated in a meeting of the network of Global Labour Institutes held last weekend in Geneva.

USA: We shared Bernie Sanders’ video responding to Jeff Bezos’ announcement of pay increases for Amazon workers.


Finances: IndustriALL and the Education International made generous donations this week.

Mailing lists: Our Dutch and German lists grew by 21 names this week.

Site redesign: We will have a meeting later today with our friends at Outlandish, a cooperative that specialises in web design. More details coming soon.

Sep
26
2018
3

10,000 supporters and still growing …

 

Mohamed Habibi.

Our campaign in support of jailed Iranian teacher trade unionist Mohammed Habibi has now broken through the 10,000 barrier and as of this morning, we have 10,258 signed up.

This is largely due to the translation into German which came in this week. The fact that we have reached 10,000 — and it’s been a while since we had a campaign this big — was publicised widely on social media.

In an attempt to boost support for what is clearly a campaign that has captured the imagination of trade unionists, we wrote to our volunteer translators in five major languages in which the campaign has not yet appeared — Dutch, Farsi, Finnish, Swedish, and Korean. The Dutch version was swiftly translated; but our Finnish translator no longer has the time. We haven’t heard back yet from the others.

So we wrote to the 459 Finns on our English language mailing list to ask for volunteers, and 4 people stepped forward. We hope the two active campaigns (Iran, Russia) will appear very soon in Finnish, as our Finnish language mailing list has not been active for seven months — and we have over 600 people on that list.

In other news …

eSwatini (formerly Swaziland): We shared the ITUC statement on anti-union repression widely on social media.

France: With the approval of the ITF, we closed our campaign in support of railway workers last week; the campaign had 7,201 supporters and was online longer than most, for just over 4 months.

Global: We promoted the ITUC story about the October 7 World Day for Decent Work as a top global news story and to social media – but cannot post, for some reason, to our main Facebook page at the moment.

Russia: Our campaign in support of Professor Maxim Balashov continues — it’s one of only two active campaigns at the moment — and currently has 9,307 supporters. With some further pushes from us, this too can be a 10,000 supporter campaign.

Somalia: We’re following up with our contact here, with suggestions how to build a new trade union movement in the country, starting with contacts with global unions.

Donations: We received cheques recently from two branches of a major British trade union. Also, both the Education International and IndustriALL have pledged donations this week.

Mailing lists: We added just 5 new subscribers to our German list this week. We publicised the MailChimp signup form on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as we do regularly.

Sep
20
2018
0

We’re down to just 3 active campaigns, as XPO campaign closes

Global: We closed the XPO campaign which ran for 3 months; it had 7,522 supporters. We don’t know what effect, if any, our campaign had; we’ve asked the ITF for an update.

Somalia: We met with a Somali trade unionist returning to his country after many years of activism in the Canadian labour movement; he’s asked for our help and we’ve offered to put him in touch with people and organisations that can be helpful.

Turkey: We gave extensive publicity to the IUF’s Cargill campaign on social media. We also gave extensive publicity to the ITUC statement on recent anti-union activity in the country.

Campaigns: We reviewed which translations are missing and followed up with key translators. At least one of our campaigns will rise to more than 10,000 supporters if we can get a German translation done.

Finances: IndustriALL has generously offered to donate again.

Mailing lists: We imported another 36 new subscribers, supporters of our recent campaigns – most of them in English.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising,Mailing list |
Sep
14
2018
1

Major new campaign on Iran launched – and other news for the last 3 weeks …

Campaigns update:

Here is what’s happened to our existing campaigns this month — the number in brackets is the total from 23 days ago:

Russia: Union-busting at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology – 9,099 [9,050] +49
Iran: Free Mohammed Habibi 8,796 [0] +8,796 [new campaign]
XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 7,493 [7,406] +87
France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,200 [7,188] +12

At the moment it looks like the Iran campaign will soon become our largest, and with boosts from some new translations and followups, it could exceed 10,000 supporters — the first time in a while that one of our campaigns has done that well.

In other developments in the last three weeks:

Australia: After 3 months, we closed the Exxon Mobil campaign – it had 6,434 supporters. We picked up ten new correspondents from Australia this month – a big welcome to all of you. Our Australian Twitter feed has run into some trouble; we are trying to fix this.

Canada: At the request of unions, we’ve publicised a few union jobs to our mailing list. We also did a dedicated Labour Day mailing.

France: We’re pressing the unions there through the ITF to find out if we can suspend our long-running campaign in support of railway workers.

Iran: We launched a major new campaign at the request of the Education International in support of a jailed teacher trade unionist, Mohammed Habibi. It already appears in 16 languages, but we’re hoping for more. If you can help with translations into any of these 10 languages — Arabic, Dutch, Farsi, Finnish, Georgian, German, Indonesian, Korean, Polish, or Swedish — please get in touch with me [ericlee@labourstart.org].

Korea: UNI gave us permission to close the three-month old campaign in support of Oracle workers.

Norway: At the request of the NNN union, we suspended our campaign.

Switzerland: Eric has been invited to attend a Global Labour Institute event taking place at the end of this month, at the IUF in Geneva.

UK: At the request of the TUC, we posted a job to our mailing list and social media.

USA: We closed the Wendt campaign after three months with the permission of BWI.

Mailing lists: We added 185 new addresses from campaign supporters.

New website design: We held another meeting with our London designers to discuss next steps for our website.

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