Following the discussion we held at the annual correspondents’ meeting in Istanbul, we will not be hold a Labour Photo of the Year competition this year. However, we will continue with the Labour Video of the Year competition and I will begin work on this on 9 January, when I’m back from winter travels. We will also be exploring the possibility – suggested by Kristyne Peter of the IMF – of ‘campaign of the year’.
We’ve got 5 great photos this year – thanks to Gretchen Donart, Mac Urata and David Bacon for once again volunteering to select the shortlist.
Now voting begins – check out the photos and vote here.
- Last week we published our first news story in Tamil.
- We’ve been in touch with our comrades in Tbilisi and have been assured that our Georgian language edition will go live next week.
- We’re expecting the translation into Hindi to be ready in the next few days.
- Our front page in Turkish now includes graphical links to all the country’s national trade union centers as well as two pro-labour NGOs we’ve been working with – and they’ve all been informed of this. One of the centers (DISK) has discussed ways to cooperate with us. Meanwhile, a very large number of Turkish trade unionists have signed up to use UnionBook.
- The ITF has called for a global day of action in support of Turkey’s TUMTIS union which is locked in dispute with UPS – we may need to launch a big online campaign in another week or two.
- We have a new newswire – USA labour news stories in Spanish.
- We stopped submissions to our Labour Photo of the Year competition and the judges are currently preparing a shortlist.
- I’ve begun work in earnest on our iPhone/iPad app.
- We’ve asked correspondents to help our comrades in Egypt (at CTUWS) who are looking for books to translate into Arabic – they’ve begun with one that was a LabourStart book of the week.
There has not been a great uptake to this year’s Labour Photo of the Year competition. This may be in part due to our failure to promote it with a dedicated mailing (it was included with some urgent campaigns). Today I’ll be writing to all members of UnionBook (2,192 people), all LabourStart correspondents (716 people), and all members of our Facebook group (3,854 people); tomorrow we’ll mail to our lists but there will have to be other things in the message. Please do what you can to promote this competition. Full details are here. Thanks.
I haven’t been able to update this blog for some 4 weeks and lots has happened in that time. Here are some highlights:
New campaigns: We launched three new campaigns – India: Over 500 workers jailed in dispute with Foxconn (4,036 messages sent so far), Thailand: Migrant workers have the right to workers’ compensation (1,703 messages), and Colombia: Free jailed university lecturer and trade unionist (1,707 messages). We’ve closed down one campaign last Friday — PSI’s campaign in support of jailed workers in Turkey.
LabourStart.tv: The domain registrar closed our account in late September — we’re now making efforts to get it reopened. Meanwhile, I’ve changed the link on our front page to point to http://www.labourstart.org/tv which works.
Labour and Technology podcasts: I’ve done two of these in the last month – Spammers and online communities: The challenge for trade unions (50 listeners) and Activist apps (258 listeners).
Labour photo of the year: Derek and I have agreed to begin work on this in another couple of weeks.
UnionBook: The old site has been completely shut down and unionbook.org and unionbook.org.uk now both point to the new site.
Upcoming conferences: I have been invited to speak at a conference of the International Metalworkers Federation in Geneva next week — it’s called “IMF global trade union networks in TNC’s as a tool to organising and promoting solidarity”. I’ve also been invited to Istanbul to speak at a conference on trade unions new media on 27 November.
2011 LabourStart global solidarity conference: Andrew has made some progress on this and we’ll be talking about it and beginning planning within the next few days.
Labour’s online bookstore: We’re ready to use the new version of UCS’s software, and this should be live in a day or two. We continue to promote about one book per month. Authors and publishers continue to contact us regularly asking us to promote books.
There is already considerable interest in the photo. For example:
- The Education International wants to use it in their magazine and has asked the photographer for permission.
- The International Metalworkers Federation will use it in an upcoming story — I think on the web.
- Amnesty International wants to use it in their glossy, full colour UK trade union magazine.
In addition, while there have only been 17 comments posted on Flickr since we announced the results (because you have to be signed in to Flickr in order to comment), Asad’s photo has been viewed 10,424 times — which is pretty amazing.
We have a winner. 3,203 votes were cast in this year’s Labour Photo of the Year competition, our second ever, and the winner by a huge margin was K M Asad’s photo entitled ‘Manual labor’.
Almost half of those voting chose this photo – to see a full breakdown of votes per photo, go here.
A very big thanks to Mac Urata for coming up with the idea last year and for agreeing to be a judge this year and last (and for translating the page into Japanese), to Derek Blackadder for once again coordinating the effort, to judges Gretchen Donart and David Bacon for once again picking an outstanding shortlist, to all the photographers who submitted entries and to the thousands of our readers who looked at them and chose the best.
It looks like this is going to be an annual event and I think our main task next year is to try to make the whole process, from submission of photo right up through the voting a multilingual one, so that all our readers can take part. (This may mean no longer relying on Flickr — we’ll need to look into this.)
Of the 3,185 people who voted so far in our photo of the year competition, more than 20% were not on our mailing list but have agreed to be added to it. The net gain for our English language is 682 new subscribers.
Interestingly, as these were added in four batches of 700 each (there were around 2,800 who agreed to be added to our list, though most were already on it), we could track how many newcomers were in each batch. The first group was mostly people who were already on our list, but by the time we reached the fourth group, they were nearly 40% people who came to the competition without having already been on our mailing list before. In other words, the people who vote last in a competition like this are the most valuable to us — they’re the ones who learned about it, and LabourStart, from somewhere else.