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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Somalia campaign closes; we support Iranian sugar workers

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.

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.

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.

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.


We try to support farm workers in North Carolina, but too little, too late

North Carolina: We were approached by FLOC for help with a campaign, but we approached the IUF and they did the campaign — with our support. Unfortunately, the campaign request came quite late and while we were able to mobilise a few thousand messages of protest (in English only), we were defeated in this fight. FLOC will let us know about next steps.

Mailing lists: We added just 21 new subscribers this week, the result of having no new campaigns.

Finances: The IUF has pledged a donation of £5,000.

Site redesign: We have a meeting set up for next week with a workers’ coop here in London that has been offering us help in redesigning the site.

LabourStart TV: We started an ad campaign on Facebook; the ads were seen this week by 3,810 people, 124 of whom have liked our new page. These are all trade unionists in the USA between the ages of 18-40, the target group for the current campaign.  The page currently has 356 likes.

LabourStart’s Turkish Facebook page: We’re going to be investing in an ad campaign to promote this as well. We currently have 254 followers and the page is being updated regularly.

LabourStart’s UK Facebook page: We’ve stopped the Facebook ad campaign, having shown the ad to 17,338 trade unionists in the UK, 1,477 of whom liked our page.  The page currently has 2,037 likes.

Brazil: We’ve given FTP access to our Brazilian editor and hope to begin showing rotating photos of the day on this page.

WINS: The Workers Independent News Service in the USA reached out to us and we’re discussing ways of improving our join work.


Thanks to our latest campaign, a massive Indonesian language mailing list

Campaigns: The new campaign on Indonesia very quickly became one of our largest ever, with 12,000 supporters after little more than a week online.
After three months online, we closed the campaign in support of TUMTIS members in Turkey with the approval of the ITF. It was one of our largest, with more than 10,000 supporters. The workers’ leaders remain in jail and the struggle continues.
We fixed one of the landing pages in Russian which was not rendering correctly.

Mailing lists: We imported 6,483 new names this week — probably a record for us — and the vast majority are from Indonesia. These names will be added to our small Indonesian list which now needs to be revived, with a new translator.

Facebook: We’ve launched a 4-week long promotion of our new UK page. In the first few days, we grew our audience by more than 40%, from 521 to 741. We expect to soon have more than 1,000 followers.

Arthur Svensson prize: As the winners last year, we were asked to make a video for the presentation of the award to a South African union this year, and have done so. The ceremony in Oslo is today.

UnionBook: The International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam has asked for, and received, the full archived contents for their use.

Labour Newswire Global Network: This is the page where we list all the websites that run our news and campaigns (using JavaScript or RSS) — and now we’re going to add the option of state/province in some cases. (We have quite a few Canadian union websites using our newswires.)

New flyer: We have the text of our new flyer ready, and have approached a graphic designer we used previously to complete the work.

Donations: In addition to the £8,000 raised from individual donors, we have received commitments from the Education International, the International Transport Workers Federation and IndustriALL this week.


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

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