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
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
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.

Jul
29
2018
2

Growing campaigns, German, Afrikaans, a victory in Turkey, site redesign and more …

Here is the regular report on our active campaigns, with the totals from 9 days ago in brackets. The campaigns are listed in order of popularity. The most significant growth took place for the Australia campaign (1,159 more supporters) and the Korea campaign (616 more supporters).

Russia: Union-busting at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology – 8,219 [8,006] +213
Norway: Sekkingstad and Sund, stop union busting! – 7,361 [7,276] +85
Korea: Oracle workers on strike – 7,164 [6,548] +616
France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,156 [7,150] +6
XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 6,758 [6,488] +270
USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union – 6,735 [6,727] +8
Australia: Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers – 6,333 [5,174] +1,159
Canada: Solidarity With Women Striking for a Living Wage! – 2,025 [2,014] +11

Europe: We promoted an ETUC story on the rise of the far right as a top global story and across social networks.

Germany: Another volunteer has stepped forward and translated our two remaining campaigns that were not yet in German; the mailings for those campaigns still need to be translated. Our German list is our most successful of the larger lists, with a very high open rate and click-through rate, making it especially important that we do timely translations of all our campaigns and mailings.

North Korea: We promoted a story about the problem of slavery here to the top of our news page, and across social networks.

South Africa: One of our correspondents had raised the question of adding news in Afrikaans; we agreed and are continuing the conversation.

Spain: UNI’s coverage of police violence against striking Amazon workers got promoted on our news pages and on social networks.

Turkey: This campaign (DHL) was closed after the union won recognition – a big victory which are beginning to publicise. The total number of supporters in the end was 6,769.

UK: We discussed with USDAW promoting their current online campaign targetting Marks & Spencer to our UK audience and will do this today or tomorrow.

USA: A news story about angry teacher trade unionists was promoted on our news pages and on social networks.

Campaigns and mailing lists: We continued to add more language translations of the bit on the landing page that suggests you join the mailing list if you’d not yet checked the box on the campaign page itself. This now works in five languages with many more to come. We’re trying to add one language per day. Thanks to all the volunteer translators for doing this so quickly.

Shell campaign: We closed this English-only, time-limited campaign at the request of IndustriALL. The campaign had 3,575 supporters.

Site redesign: We have commissioned a workers’ coop in London to do preliminary work on a rebuild of our news site. This has been under discussion for a very long time, and is now finally moving forward. We should have something to see in August.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Site redesign |
Sep
22
2017
0

A very busy season for online campaigning as we launch 3 new ones

This is the first update in more than two weeks — this was due to my week-long visit to Georgia to launch my book, The Experiment: Georgia’s Forgotten Revolution, 1918-21.

Campaigns:
We have just launched a new campaign at the request of PSI, in support of a trade union leader in Colombia.

We expect to shortly launch two more campaigns at the request of unions in Egypt and Canada.

We closed one campaign — Freeport Indonesia — that ran for more than three months. This was one of our largest campaigns ever, with nearly 15,000 supporters, many of them from Indonesia.

Our translators are struggling to cope with the load of many simultaneous campaigns and for some of our key languages — the ones with large mailing lists — we are falling behind. I have noted that some of our translators always come through on time, even when we are given four campaigns in as many weeks, and written to those to thank them for their effort.

Mailing list:
We added just 70 new campaign supporters in the last two weeks.

Website redesign:
Our friends at Outlandish, the north London web design workers’ coop, have been doing some work for us (on a pro bono basis) and we expect to hear shortly what they have done so far.

Burma/Myanmar:
We’ve begun the process of changing the country name, first in English. At the moment, both names work and soon searching for one will also show results for the other (in a few days).

Georgia:
I was invited to address the congress of the Georgian Trade Union Confederation and did so last week.

India:
We’re working to build closer links with one of our correspondents who’s created a Facebook page for Indian labour news that has 12,000 followers.

USA:
Derek has been making a huge effort to grow our Twitter feed here.  We’re up to 1,145 followers.

LabourStart TV:
We fixed our home page to highlight when a story is a video — even when it’s a top global news story. There is no longer a need for correspondents to include the word ‘video’ in headlines; but do make sure to tag such stories as videos (on the second screen, when adding news).

UnionBook:
Finally, we are done with this, no longer paying for the domain name.

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.

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.

Jul
01
2017
0

LabourStart TV revived

LabourStart TV:
We now have a Facebook page  to help promote our videos (and the web page itself); at the moment Derek and I are the administrators and we can add videos, but others are welcome to join us. The page has 146 likes at the moment, but this will grow quickly.
The page on LabourStart itself has been turned into a live feed of all news stories using video — in English only, but with a plan to roll this out for all other languages shortly. A lot of old stuff has now been removed from that redesigned page.

Campaigns:
We have been approached about a possible campaign in support of Chinese workers in Saipan.
I’ve also had to do a slight design of how we use campaign images on the LabourStart home page; for some languages, that had meant a blank left column — this is now fixed.
We’ve been offered a chance to try out something called PostBug which will allow some campaign supporters to send a paper version of their protest message by snail mail, through a website.

UnionBook: At their request, we have transferred the entire archive to the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam.

Indonesian: I continue to pursue translators to ensure that we can regularly translate our campaigns and mail to our Indonesian language list — our third largest list.

Esperanto: The magazine of SAT, the global left-wing Esperanto movement, has sent me some interview questions. They will shortly be running an article about LabourStart.

Correspondents: We’ve added another new correspondent from India.

Mailing lists: We added 199 addresses this — 66 of those to the English list, 22 to the Dutch, and 111 to other lists. This is four times as many people as we added to our lists last week.

Site redesign: We have a meeting scheduled with our friends at a workers’ coop in London which has offered to help us out with this. More details soon.

Apr
07
2017
0

Weekly roundup: Asbestos campaign, Facebook UK, site redesign, and more

Campaigns: We launched three new ones – on asbestos (a global campaign), Madagascar, and Kazakhstan. Only the first has gone live with full publicity and translations as there are some issues still to be resolved with the latter two; we’ve gotten over 2,600 messages sent since yesterday evening in support of the asbestos ban. I closed a UK-only campaign launched on behalf of BFAWU (the bakers) — I’m pleased to report that we won this. The previous Kazakhstan campaign was also closed this week.

Mailing list: Without a new campaign, the list barely grows — we picked up just 78 new subscribers this week, most of them for the French list. Matt and Mark in Berlin have offered to join the team posting messages, so our German language mailings should go out quicker.

News: We added one new correspondent from Yemen and one from Brazil.

UK: We’ve set up a LabourStart UK Facebook page and will start promoting it next week; Warren is helping by posting news stories to it. After getting a few complaints about the mailing we did last week in support of Ruskin College, I received a clarification from the person who asked us to do it and shared that with everyone who wrote in.

Website redesign: I followed up with a London-based worker coop which has offered to help us with this; we’ll probably meet up in May to discuss next steps.

Outreach: I reached out to a major Irish trade and we had a phone call to discuss ways we can help them and work together. I also had a long conversation with a US based campaigning group and we’re looking for ways we can work together.

Social media: We used Facebook and Twitter this week to highlight a number of important issues including the ITUC’s condemnation of Assad’s chemical attack on his own people, a call for a global ban on modern slavery, and an expose of the use of North Korean slaves in Russia — all this in addition to ongoing Facebook posts and tweets which Derek has been coordinating.

Sep
17
2013
1

The week in review – 11-17 September

Calendar: Sale of our LabourStart Calendar for 2014 have stalled — we only sold 18 in the last 6 days (of those, 8 were in Canada, 5 in Australia, 3 in the UK and 2 in the USA).  I’ve already done two rounds of publicity and today will be mailing to nearly 500 state federations of labor and central labor councils in the USA in an attempt to boost sales there.

Campaigns:

  • August was an exceptionally slow month for us, so 5 days ago I wrote to all our campaign partners — GUFs and others — asking if anyone needed help.  We got answers from a number of them an expect to launch several new campaigns in the next couple of weeks.
  • Edd and I met with a leader of the UN staff union and they have been facing a brutal attack on workers’ rights from the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and will probably be needing a campaign from us in the next few days.
  • We closed down the Philippines campaign one month early (see below) and the GE Erie campaign one month late (at the request of the union).
  • We did a special mailing to our Canadian subscribers boosting a number of campaigns there (not all of these were hosted by LabourStart).

Intern: As I reported below, Edd is leaving us at the end of this month (though will continue working one day a week for LabourStart) and we’ve begun the process of recruiting a replacement.

News:

  • The biggest improvement, described below, is that now you can get beyond the first 50 news stories on any of our country pages.   (This will soon work on our home pages in the different languages as well.)
  • I’ve also fixed a problem with links to the country names that were appearing on the home page in English — the first time the name appeared, the link would take you to our new, correct country news page, but the second appearance of the country name still took you to an old page.
  • With so much coverage of the British TUC conference last week, we did a special mailing to our UK list promoting the news page.  It’s very important that we continue to draw attention to our news service, as many of the people on our mailing list are familiar with our campaigns — but not with the news we provide.

Correspondents: 

  • As reported below, a correspondent can now change their default language and country — either temporarily or permanently.  This caused a small problem for senior correspondents, as Derek discovered, but this has now been fixed.
  • We’ve been struggling to make sure that we have current email addresses for all the correspondents and Edd has nearly completed this task.
  • This week, I resumed weekly mailings to correspondents and I intend to keep doing this.

Internationalization:

  • Our failure to sustain LabourStart news in any Nordic language except Norwegian has been with us for some time.  This week, I wrote to all our subscribers on the English list from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden and have received responses from 10 of them — at least one has volunteered to be a correspondent, others have already contact their national trade union centres in the hope of growing interest in LabourStart.
  • Our French home page was the last one to be converted to our new format and this is now complete.

Kiev 2013: There will be a meeting of LabourStart correspondents from Russia, Ukraine and Georgia (and other countries?) in Kiev at the beginning of November.  Masha has drafted an invitation letter which I’ve read and approved, and Edd has found email addresses for all our correspondents from the region who have been invited.  I will be attending myself.

Berlin 2014: I’ve fixed a meeting at the ITUC in Brussels for two weeks from today to discuss how our conference ties in with theirs.  They’ve been exceptionally cooperative and this is hugely important for the success of our global solidarity conference.

Small screen version of LabourStart: Edd’s been working on a version of the site that will automatically appear when you view it on a smartphone, as we’ve done with campaigns.  This is nearly ready.

Daily tech tips for trade unionists: I  wrote ten of these which appeared over the last couple of weeks and got some nice and interesting feedback.  Would be interested to know if comrades would like this to continue.  Meanwhile, I’m pausing the effort.

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