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
02
2018
1

LabourStart in Numbers, January – April 2018

This is the first report in five months – sorry for the delay. The next report will come out in three months — in early August.

Some highlights:

* As I reported last time, our mailing are generally 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 good news is the our Arabic list nearly doubled in size, and we have a new list in Georgia with about 200 people.

* On Facebook, we’ve seen no growth at all in recent months.

* On Twitter, there’s been excellent growth of the global English feed, as well as our Canadian and US feeds, but nowhere else.

* A survey of traffic to our news and campaigns websites shows a decrease in the number of visitors overall, but a massive surge of visitors from China. However, one needs to show caution. Those thousands of Chinese visitors did not sign up to our campaigns in the Chinese language and did not land on our Chinese language news pages. Our assumption has to, therefore, that these were bots, not people.

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

Mailing lists

English: 82,997 – 84,753
French: 8,907 – 8,993
German: 6,225 – 6,279
Spanish: 5,432 – 5,509
Turkish: 4,205 – 4,217
Italian: 3,821 – 3,871
Korean: 3,773 – 3,773
Norwegian: 2,647 – 2,709
Russian: 2,501 – 2,580
Dutch: 1,679 – 1,667
Swedish: 1,180 – 1,243
Chinese: 1,055 – 1,074
Arabic: 957 – 495
Portuguese: 865 – 877
Polish: 798 – 798
Finnish: 595 – 643
Japanese: 454 – 494
Indonesian: 394 – 392
Hebrew: 266 – 276
Ukrainian: 272 – 268
Farsi: 232 – 232
Georgian: 217
Tagalog: 205 – 225
Esperanto: 171 – 169
Hungarian: 158 – 158
Danish: 91 – 97
Czech: 76 – 79
Thai: 64 – 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

Facebook:

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 12,377 – 12,379
Members of LabourStart group (Global Labour News and Information): 8,830 – 8,874
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 2,406 – 2,506
Like LabourStart UK page: 2,020 – 2,037
Like LabourStart page (French): 574 – 578
Like LabourStart page (German): 493 – 496
Friends of LabourStart Brasil: 415
LabourStart TV – 401 – 401
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 159 – 163
Members of LabourStart Vostok (Russian): 124 – 117

Twitter

English: 20,305 – 18,488
Canada English: 8,910 – 7,745
USA: 3,302 – 1,898
Australia: 2,688 – 2,653
Canada French: 1,948 – 1,872
Italian: 527 – 538
Swedish: 369 – 370
Indonesia: 355 – 360
Portuguese: 277 – 278
French: 231 – 230
German: 92 – 92
Spanish: 68 – 70
Japanese: 19 – 21
Russian: 24 – 19
Norwegian: 18 – 19
Turkish: 14 – 16
Dutch: 12 – 12
Arabic: 8 – 8

Linked In

LabourStart group: 2,038 – 2,042

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 832 – 829

Website traffic (1.1.18 – 1.5.18)

LabourStart.org (news) –

Unique users 38,143 – 55,884

Top countries (by sessions):

USA 20% – 21%
Canada 13% – 16%
UK 10% – 12%
China 9%
India 6% – 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 32,104 – 48,545
USA – English 16,018 – 20,156
Canada – English 6,679 – 8,527
India 3,509 – 5,175
UK – 3,465

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users 43,447 – 56,231

Top countries (by sessions):

China 39%
USA 9% – 12%
UK 8% – 14%
Canada 5% – 12%
Germany 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

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

Fiji: End the lockout at Nadi Airport – 12,075 [7,969]
Iran: Esmail Abdi back in prison – free him now – 9,700 [8,372]
Algeria: New government attack on independent energy union – 9,219 [10,005]
Turkey: Smart suits, shabby treatment: Sponsor of Bundesliga teams fires union members – 6,904 [7,901]
Georgia: Time for a new labour law – 5,531 [6,070]

 

Website

Correspondents: 877 – 873

Feb
18
2018
0

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.

Jan
31
2018
0

Hello, Sweden, Finland and Poland. We’d like to introduce ourselves …

Turning the map of Europe red.

Reviving dormant languages: As you may recall, we’re going to devote time each week to reinvigorating editions of LabourStart that have become dormant in recent years. Our first three weeks in 2018 we have focussed on Swedish, Finnish and — from this morning — Polish. The results are excellent so far: 4 campaigns already live in Swedish and Finnish for the first time in a long time, 2 mailings already done and two more on the way, and 13 new volunteer translators in Sweden and Finland.

Esmail Abdi: Our new campaign in support of the jailed Iranian teacher trade unionist, launched last week, had 3,500 supporters six days ago — and is now up to over 5,800. This morning I wrote to over 71,000 people who were sent our mailing last week in English but who have not yet responded. This should lead to some more growth. We also updated our English list this week with reports about the victory in Fiji, the continuing crisis in Algeria and the IUF’s campaign against Coca-Cola in Indonesia.

Strengthening our display of country news: It was pointed out to us that in the Norwegian edition, if you looked for news from Fiji, you’d see nothing because there had been no news stories in Norwegian. We were asked to automatically include English news stories in the Norwegian country news pages, and have now done so. If your language is in that category — i.e., nearly everyone in your country reads English — we can fix this for you too.

We gave a lot of publicity on social media to the IFJ’s annual report on the killing of journalists, the calls on the ILO to do something about Fiji and the giant metal workers strike set to happen in Turkey.

Our mailing lists continue to grow. This week, we added 334 new subscribers to 11 of our lists.

We continue to get a number of individual donations and we should never forget the generosity of many trade unionists who give money every month to LabourStart. In January, these small donors contributed GBP 913.87.

Dec
11
2017
0

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

Facebook:

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]

Twitter

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

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 829 – 827

Website

Correspondents: 873 – 864

Dec
04
2017
1

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.

Sep
06
2017
0

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.

Aug
03
2017
0

Coming soon: Two new campaigns on Kazakhstan and Cambodia

Campaigns: We closed the Kazakhstan campaign after 4 months — but are likely to launch a new one soon with the support of several global unions. The campaign ran in 17 languages and had 8,157 supporters.

We have a new campaign in the works, brought to us by a coalition of trade unions and NGOs in response to the sudden closure of a garment factory in Cambodia. It should go live today.

Our Iran campaign seems quite out of date, as Esmail Abdi was apparently released and then re-arrested. We have asked the Education International for clarification and guidance.

News: Among the top labour news stories we’ve given exposure to this week were the road blockades and fires set by sacked workers at Haifa Chemicals in Israel; the ongoing strike by teachers in Peru, who have now marched on the capital; the struggle by Palestinian workers to form a union at a furniture factory in the occupied territories; the campaign to support Nissan workers organising to form a union in the USA; and finally, the struggle of train drivers in Pakistan.

Turkish Facebook page: This has grown spectacularly in the last few weeks, rising from about 250 to 1,815 — 480 of those in the last week.  See the page here.

Mailing lists: While we wait for new campaigns to launch (Cambodia and Kazakhstan – see above) our lists are stagnant and not growing.

Donations: The ITUC has made a generous pledge.

Jul
21
2017
0

Somalia campaign closes; we support Iranian sugar workers

Campaigns:
We closed the Somalia campaign after three months and 5,920 supporters. We’re waiting to hear what effect, if any, our campaign had.
We also did a mass mailing to promote the IUF’s campaign in support of Haft Tapeh sugar workers in Iran, as well as promoting extensively on social media.

Site redesign:
I’m pleased to report that we’re moving forward with a web design cooperative in London, and have discussed a number of changes they will make to modernise and refresh LabourStart. They’ve done some outstanding websites for progressive groups and unions, and are offering their services on a pro bono basis.

Outreach:
I had a long meeting at the TUC with their head of digital, John Wood, and we discussed ongoing cooperation.
I contacted the union official tasked with organising Uber drivers in the UK to see how we can help with their campaign.

Facebook:
We’ve picked up 510 new likes for our Turkish page (a tripling of the number) in just a few days this week thanks to our new ad campaign. We’ve informed 34,960 Turkish Facebook users about LabourStart at minimal cost. The campaign will run for a full month and it looks like after we’re done, our page will have several thousand likes.
Our ad campaign to promote LabourStart TV’s page ended after we picked up 151 new likes, having shown the ad to 4,767 Facebook users in the USA. We’ll probably resume this later this year.

Indonesian language:
We urgently need someone to translate our campaigns and mailings, and fortunately someone has now stepped forward. Indonesian is now one of our largest mailing lists.

Correspondents:
We added one new correspondent, from Canada.

Mailing lists:
Due to a lack of new campaigns, we’ve added only 1 new person to our lists this week.

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