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.

Oct
27
2017
0

Another week, another victory: Mauritius workers end hunger strike

Mauritius campaign: This was one of our fastest and most successful. A hunger strike by union leaders and cleaners at schools ended after just a couple of days. We managed to get 5,570 supporters in that short time. We’ve been thanked by the union, and will be reporting on this win (and others) in a mass mailing to our lists today.

Cambodia campaign: This campaign will shortly close, but we were sent some new graphics by the Clean Clothes Campaign which we’ve shared on social media. This did not produce an immediate positive result (new supporters). The campaign is currently our largest with 8,317 supporters.

Georgia campaign: We were asked in a Facebook message to help with a struggle in Georgia and waiting to get details.

Mailing lists: We picked up 251 new subscribers this week.

Fundraising: I spent all day yesterday at a “Crowdfunding Academy” event, learning the basics of crowdfunding.

About page: We’ve done a redesign of this page on the site, and fixed some of the text. Other pages on the site will also need to be updated.

Finally, yesterday evening I was invited to speak for a few minutes at the launch of Space4, a centre for tech cooperatives in North London, and spoke about LabourStart.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising,Mailing list |
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
15
2017
1

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.

Jun
16
2017
0

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.

Jun
09
2017
1

Annual fundraising drive takes off; new campaign launched in support of Indonesian miners

Fundraising: One week into our annual fundraising drive and results have been good. We took in nearly £8,000 in 8 days.  Thanks to everyone who has donated and who has helped to raise money so far.

Campaigns: We launched a new campaign in support of Indonesian miners, at the request of IndustriALL. Over 3,000 of them signed up the campaign even before we began publicity. This promises to be quite a big one. We did the weekly review of translations of campaigns and mailings into the major languages, and found that we were missing translations in three of our key languages. We followed up with translators, but so far with no results.

Books: We sent out another dozen copies of our book on migrant worker organising to progressive publications, mostly in the USA. Amazon subsidiary CreateSpace is now looking into why we have not been getting their payments.

Conference: We received a detailed answer from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and will be discussing this.

Mailing list: We added 180 new subscribers – 124 of those to the English list. This does not include new supporters from the Indonesia campaign (see above).

Jun
03
2017
0

New campaign launched – Esmail Abdi on hunger strike

New campaign – Esmail Abdi – hunger strike:
This campaign went live about a week ago is already doing well, with over 6,000 supporters, and was translated into a dozen languages.
I sent out a reminder to the 71,354 people on our English list who didn’t open the message sent out a week ago.

Campaigns in the pipeline:
We are in discussions with a Canadian union on a major campaign.
UGT Spain is talking with us about a campaign focussing on workers facing jail.
A US union has also asked for a possible campaign with a long-running dispute.
We were given a campaign by a union in Turkey last week but have been asked to hold off on this for a bit.

Mailing lists:
We picked up 317 new subscribers, nearly all of those for the English list.

Fundraising drive:
We did the annual fundraising drive, which raised £2,500 in the first 48 hours. The mailing is translated into a number of languages – but some key ones still remain.

New correspondents:
We have new correspondents in Iran and the Netherlands.

Books:
We’ve now sent out review copies of our migrant workers book to 33 publications — I hope this will generate some reviews and raise awareness of the book.
We continue to have problems with CreateSpace, the Amazon subsidiary that prints and sells the books, and have continued complaining and demanding that they sort out the payments which are owed to us. They are currently looking into what the problem is.

New LabourStart flyer:
A new LabourStart brochure is in the works, our first since 2014. The English version should be ready in a few days.

Privacy issue – resolved:
After repeated requests to Google to re-crawl our site, they have finally done so. As a result, people searching for their own email addresses on Google should not find them listed on an internal LabourStart campaign, as was the case for a few weeks.

LinkedIn:
From what I can tell, we are no longer able to mail to our group on LinkedIn, which is a pity.

Publicity on social media:
Publicised China Labor Watch statement on Ivanka Trump on Facebook and Twitter.
Promoted the ITUC statement on the new South Korean president.
Publicised our extensive coverage of the Histadrut election in Israel.

May
26
2017
1

A relatively quiet fortnight

As I was travelling for eight of the last fourteen days, this will be a relatively short summary of the last fortnight at LabourStart.

Campaigns:
We closed the long-running campaign in support of jailed teacher trade unionist Esmail Abdi in Iran — but opened a new one at the request of hte Education International due to his hunger strike.
We added a text to our closed Nigerian dockers’ campaign from the ITF.
We are now completely caught up with translations of campaigns and mailings in our 8 largest languages.

Next conference: We’ve followed up with our comrades in Hong Kong.

Mailing lists: We added just 98 new names — this number is low due to the fact that we launched no new campaigns in this period.

Social media: We gave our Turkish Facebook page, which is being revived, a boost with a mailing to our Turkish language list, picking up 21 new likes.

Finances: UNISON (UK) has donated £1,000.

Site security: We did a thorough review following the massive ransomware attacks earlier this month. We’ve improved our backups, which are now comprehensive and done regularly. Our web hosting company allows us to do a malware test, which we ran, and which showed no security issues.

Books: We’ve begun sending out review copies of our book on migrant workers’ struggles — the goal is to send out about 100 copies. If you know of any publications that should receive one, please do let me know.

May
05
2017
0

Weekly roundup: Dutch, Hindi, Korean and Tagalog campaigns, mailings revived

The focus this week has been on expanding our reach to ever-larger audiences of trade unionists around the world.

Internationalisation:
An appeal to our supporters of English-language campaigns who don’t come from English language countries has resulted in a flood of new translators and new translations for long-dormant languages — in some cases languages where we have fairly large mailing lists. This includes Dutch, Tagalog, Hindi, and Korean. We also have new volunteers for Arabic, Swedish and Malay and are awaiting our first translations into those languages for a while. And we’re almost caught up now with our German language campaigns and mailings.

Campaigns:
A review of how the “pass it on” feature works (where you share a campaign by email) shows that it was used 36 times to send to many dozens of potential supporters in the previous week. I’ve put out a request for translations of the “pass it on” texts to our major languages, nearly all of which were received within a few hours (thanks translators!). We’ll now fully internationalise this, and then we’ll restore it to the English language version of our campaigns, taking precautions to ensure that it’s secure.
An appeal for supporters of the campaigns involving jailed trade unionists (Kazakhstan, Turkey) sent out to the English list and via social media on May Day generated a good response as 1,301 new messages were sent on that day.
Our Turkey (TUMTIS) campaign has now become our first campaign for a long time to get more than 10,000 supporters — helped over the top by our new Dutch language campaign.
The Liberia campaign which ran for an unprecedented 7 months has now been closed, following several extensions. But we’ve not yet heard how this turned out.

Mailing lists:
278 new subscribers were added to our English, German, French, Italian, Turkish, Esperanto and Spanish lists. This is not bad for a week in which we launched no new campaigns.

Focus:
We used our news service and social media to promote a number of specific things this week — including the oil workers strike in Nigeria, an ITUC statement on the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, and May Day around the world.

Finances:
We’ve been informed of a substantial donation coming from the Norwegian union IndustrieEnergie and from the British Columbia Teachers Federation.

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