Nov
02
2018
0

Reviving our campaigns and mailings in Italian, Polish, Arabic and other languages

Brazil: We gave extensive publicity to the IUF’s powerful editorial on the eve of the elections.

Canada: We did a mailing to our Canadian list promoting CLIFF, the labour film festival.

Italy: As we were having some difficulties getting our campaigns and mailings translated, we invited 819 Italian speakers on our English mailing list to volunter to help with translations — and have been inundated with many positive responses.

Poland: We did something similar to the Polish list, and now have translators and translations of our campaigns after a very long time.

Spain: We have been approached by Spanish unions about launching a campaign and hope to do this shortly.

Turkey: We shared Human Rights Watch’s story about the Istanbul airport struggle widely. At the moment, our campaign has 8,459 supporters and appears in 21 languages, with more coming. This campaign too should rise to above 10,000 supporters.

USA: We shared Unite Here’s Marriott campaign to social networks. We also shared widely a news story from the USA about journalists in new media who are organising and voting to strike.

Campaigns: We’ve improved the ability to share campaigns by email with friends in English. The French version is also being prepared now. We also now have translations of a basic text to use 7 days after a campaign launch, when writing a followup message to people who haven’t yet opened our mailing — this is now in English, French, Italian, Russian and Turkish, and our campaigns will now always receive a boost after a week in those languages. (Previously, we did this only in English.) Our attempts to find new volunteer translators for our campaigns in Arabic has not yet resulted in anything concrete, despite writing directly to more than 2,000 Arabic speakers on our English list.

Mailing lists: We added just 45 new subscribers to our lists, most of them for our Turkish list.

Articles: We shared Eric’s article from the current issue of International Union Rights magazine, on the subject of online campaigning as a top news story on LabourStart and on social networks.

Aug
22
2018
0

Nearly 800 more supporters for our latest campaign in the last two weeks, and two more campaigns in the pipelinee

August is generally a slow month for the international trade union movement, and this is reflected in the lack of new campaigns. Here is what’s happened to our existing campaigns this month — the number in brackets is the total from 17 days ago. Note very significant gains for the Russian and XPO campaigns.

Russia: Union-busting at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology – 9,050 [8,278] +772
Norway: Sekkingstad and Sund, stop union busting! – 7,449 [7,408] +41
XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 7,406 [7,155] +251
Korea: Oracle workers on strike – 7,272 [7,223] +49
France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,188 [7,156] +32
USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union – 6,755 [6,743] +12
Australia: Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers – 6,412 [6,377] +35

In other news this month …

Brazil: It seems like we are about to launch a campaign here — stay tuned.

Europe: We boosted coverage of the Ryanair strike both on our news pages and on social media.

France: We asked the ITF for permission to close our French railway workers’ campaign, now running for more than three months. As you can see above, very few new supporters are signing up.

Germany: We promoted a story on social media about the youth section of the trade union federation DGB reiterating their opposition of boycotts of Israel.

Indonesia: We promoted the IUF’s Bali campaign in a mailing to LabourStart’s English list, and throughout social networks.

Iran: We publicised a new story about repression targetting teacher trade unionists.

Israel: We widely publicised a story about a big nurses strike across the country.

Kenya: We promoted a story about a tear gas attack on striking hospital workers on our news page and on social networks.

Romania: We gave extensive publicity to an IFJ story about attacks on journalists.

South Africa: We gave prominence to a story about the AMCU threatening to shut down the platinum mining business.

Sri Lanka: We’ve been approached by a global union federation and are about to launch a campaign targetting an employer in this country.

USA: We promoted widely a Boston Globe story about the increasing use of lockouts by employers. We also promoted the story about unions winning the referendum in Missouri, defeating a “right to work” (for less) law.

Campaigns: We discovered a problem with the code that made some of our pages appear to be security risks for users; now fixed.  It looks like we are about to launch two new campaigns — details above.

Donations: We received a generous donation from the steelworkers in Canada.

Mailing list: We promoted signups to our mailing list on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We added 34 new subscribers to our lists. We also completed posting translations of texts so that when people support one of our campaigns in any language, but fail to check the box to sign up to our mailing list, they receive a reminder on the landing page.

Publicity: At the request of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR), we submitted an article on online campaigning for their quarterly journal International Union Rights.

Social networks: We did a mailing to our English list encouraging people to sign up to our pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. As a result, we picked up 181 new likes on Facebook and 141 new followers on Twitter. Our group on LinkedIn, oddly, seems have gotten smaller.

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.

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.

Apr
02
2018
0

Catching up after nearly a month …

Winners of the Ron Todd Foundation awards in London last month.

First of all, apologies for the delay in this update. I was travelling for two weeks in mid March and am just now catching up.

Campaigns:
We’ve been asked to keep our Algeria campaign, which has now been running for more than three months, live for a bit longer, and have done so. In the last five days, we’ve added only 2 new supporters. We need 77 more supporters to bring the total up to 10,000.
We received a campaign request from one of the global union federations, but they’ve not followed up yet.
We also suggested a campaign to a national trade union centre and are currently discussing it with them.
We launched our first campaign in years in the Thai language, with a mailing coming soon as well.

Conferences:
We’ll have a strong presence at the upcoming Labor Notes conference in Chicago, and will leaflet the Unions 21 conference in London later this month.
We were also invited to speak at a British trade union event in June, but there’s a scheduling conflict.

News:
We fixed a problem with country names on the Ukrainian page.
If the language you work with is still showing English names of countries and you can help with translations, let us know.

Mailings:
We sent out a mailing to the entire English list about the West Virginia teachers’s strike — the second in our series of “explainers”.
Our mailing lists grew by 427 in the last month; there were large numbers of new subscribers to our Turkish and Arabic lists this time.

Women workers:
We now have the women workers page working in all languages. If you’re willing to help, please let me know and you’ll be sent a short text to translate.
We wrote to all correspondents in the run-up to International Women’s Day urging them to post stories and tag them correctly.

Awards:
On 10 March we received the “socialism of the heart” award from the Ron Todd Foundation in London.  Other winners included the McDonald’s workers who held the first strike at the restaurant chain in the UK.

Jul
07
2017
0

Indonesian gov’t intervenes in Freeport dispute – but the campaign continues

Campaigns:

We promoted good news about the Indonesian government’s intervention in the Freeport dispute; however, the campaign continues.
Closed the Madagascar campaign after 3 months, with just under 7,000 supporters. We’re waiting to hear from the ITF what results, if any, we’ve gotten from the effort.
Belatedly answered Spain’s UGT about a possible campaign, but it turns out we’re too late.
Helped the IUF promote its campaign in support of Doha workers in Morocco. Over 2,000 people support the campaign thanks to our effort.
We’ve been asked to keep the Kazakhstan campaign running, and have done so.

LabourStart TV:

Wrote to all LabourStart correspondents explaining what we’ve done, how to add video news, and asked for volunteers to help maintain the Facebook page, which is now up to 196 likes (a gain of 50 since last week). One volunteer in Canada stepped forward.
There are now links on our website to our videos by language. Not all languages are showing video links. The interface on the page still needs to be translated.
Twenty videos were added this week to our site. There were just 11 the previous week, and just 7 the week before that.

Publicity:

We were interviewed for the magazine of the left Esperanto group SAT. When the article becomes available online, I’ll share the link here.

Mailing lists:

With no new campaigns, only 21 names added this week to our lists.

Apr
14
2017
0

Weekly Roundup: Massive growth in the number of Asian languages for our campaigns

Asbestos campaign: This is now live in more languages than any other recent campaign we’ve done, thanks to APHEDA’s helping getting translations of the campaign and mailing in Indonesian, Japanese, Hindi, Vietnamese, etc. We expect to add even more Asian languages as a result, including Urdu. Some of these lists are being mailed to for the first time in years. A number of global unions, including IndustriALL and the ITUC, have publicly called for a global asbestos ban this week. As of this morning, the campaign has 5,728 supporters and is running in 18 languages.

Kazakhstan campaign: This too went live in a big way this week. We have the full support of the ITUC and IndustriALL, and the IUF did a mailing to its Russian language list to promote the campaign. This morning the campaign had 4,469 supporters and appears in 6 languages so far with more translations on the way.

Madagascar campaign: This campaign is already running on the ITF site, but they have begun publicising the version on LabourStart. We’ll begin our publicity shortly.

Somalia campaign: The journalists’ union has asked for our help; expect a new campaign in the next few days.

UK: We went live with our new UK LabourStart Facebook page, publicising it on the social network itself for now; as of this morning it has 74 likes. One of the things we’ve been able to publicise there is a new podcast done by former LabourStart intern Edd Mustill. We’ll soon do a mailing to our UK list to promote this.

Mailing lists: I did two imports this week, adding people who support our campaigns, with a total of 304 new subscribers, mostly to the English list.

Publications: I’ve begun work to complete the new edition of Campaigning Online and Winning.

Publicity: We’ve begun work on a new flyer — it will be based on our 2014 flyer, with an updated text, to be distributed at union conferences this year. We’re looking into the possibility of creating versions in multiple languages.

Arthur Svensson prize: We’ve been invited to participate in this year’s ceremony in Oslo in June.

Fundraising: BWI has made a generous donation to LabourStart which arrived this week.

Mar
30
2017
0

Weekly roundup: 1 new campaign, 3 old ones closed, and much more

I haven’t been doing regular updates to Inside LabourStart — but from this week, I want to start. Here’s a roundup of the last 7 days at LabourStart:

CAMPAIGNS

  • We had a problem – for the second time in 4 months – with McAfee blocking access to our campaigns site. After sending them an email (again), they removed the block within 24 hours. I shared the news of this block on social media and to all those (7 subscribers) who complained to me about it.
  • We’ve had a proposal from the Australian unions for a campaign on asbestos. It will go live today or tomorrow.
  • In one of our shortest campaigns here, we protested against the jailing (again) of leaders of Djibouti’s teachers’ union; they were freed on Monday night.
  • With the agreement of our partners in Ukraine, we closed down the campaign in support of Kyiv’s transport workers, which got 8,272 messages sent.
  • After 3 months online, we closed down the Brazilian campaign in support of workers at the University of Sao Paulo.
  • We did a mini-campaign in the UK to build support for the trade union education programme at Ruskin College in Oxford, at the request of the staffers there who have been made redundant. It’s not hosted on our site, which means it’s not the best way to do it, but we got a large number of people to show their support for Ruskin.
  • We helped the IUF promote its campaign in support of Coca-Cola workers in Indonesia – both with a mailing to our list and publicity on the website and on social media.
  • I made a small tweak to the campaigns page so that you are now required to choose a country, and you can’t choose the first choice, which is ‘country’. You must choose an actual country.
  • I’ve begun regularly weekly reviews of our campaigns and mailings, to see if we’re missing any translations in our most popular languages. The only one which is a persistent problem is German and I’ve written to our friends in Berlin in the hope that we can sort this out.

MAILING LISTS

  • We picked up 652 new subscribers this week.
  • Because we had almost 137,000 subscribers on our mailings we pay a lot of money every month to MailChimp. We can save some money by not keeping lists there which we no longer need, so I attempted to bring us below the 135,000 threshhold, which would have saved us $300 a year – but unfortunately could not.

NEWS

  • We now have the “external ActNOW” working – meaning any correspondent can add a link to an online campaign that’s related to a news story. As of this morning, this has been tested and works everywhere.
  • I wrote to all our correspondents telling them about our state/province field, asking them use it where it exists (USA, UK, Australia, South Africa, India, Canada) and if we don’t have it for their country, to let us know and we can add it. We recently learned that in Canada in particular, this is a very popular feature on LabourStart.
  • In addition to that, on all our country news pages for those countries named above, there’s now a drop-down menu for the first time listing states, provinces and regions. This should help raise awareness that we have this feature.

PROMOTING LABOURSTART

  • The British unions BECTU and USDAW offered to let us have a stall at their upcoming conferences and if we can’t attend, to distribute printed material for us.

BOOKS

  • I wrote to all members of the LabourStart executive committee urging people to help get our books, especially the newest one on migrant workers, reviewed on Amazon. This will help boost sales and I encourage everyone reading this to help out.

DONATIONS

  • Finally, we received pledges of donations from TUAC, UNI and BWI. I am sending out reminders to all global union bodies which regularly donate to us, and so far they are all responding affirmatively.
Feb
25
2016
0

The last 37 days – a lot to report …

I had wanted these to be fortnightly reports — but it’s hard to keep that going with so much happening. So, apologies for the delay. Here’s what’s happened in the last five weeks:

CAMPAIGNS

  • We asked KCTU if we can close down their 3-month-old campaign; they’ve asked us to keep it going and we will.
  • Launched two new campaigns on one day (Iran and Morocco), both concerning individuals we’d already campaigned for in the past.
  • We closed three campaigns — Mastepan (Estonia), Nermin (Libya) and Ewado (Djibouti); we reported on both in the mass mailing that went out today.  We also heard very positive news about a campaign we did with WAC in defense of a Palestinian trade union activist.
  • We launched a very large campaign demanding justice for Giulio Regeni. This came at the suggestion of our Italian comrades, and was quickly followed by support from the IUF and a positive statement also from the ITUC.  This campaign soared to 10,000 messages very quickly and continues to grow.
  • We continued to support the ITUC’s Ratify the Protocol campaign.

RADIO

We’re now submitting weekly 2 1/2 minute reports to the Workers Independent News Service (WINS) in the US. This is in addition to our ongoing cooperation with Radio Labour, based in Canada.

FINANCES

We received a generous donation from Building and Woodworkers International.

EVENTS

I spoke at a meeting of communications staffers of European unions in Gdansk, Poland last week.

CORRESPONDENTS

We’ve resumed regular mailings to correspondents, which will take place every week — after a gap of nearly 10 months.

BOOKS

The complete manuscript for the next LabourStart book, The Strangers Among Us, has been received and we’re currently formatting it. We hope to have a book launch event at our conference in Toronto.

CONFERENCE

Speaking of which — we have a large number of workshop proposals and 371 people signed up to attend; there’s an organizing committee and an intern hired, and we’ll soon have an agenda.

PUBLICITY

At the suggestion of the British TUC, we submitted a nomination form for the SMK Campaigners Awards; they will decide by the end of February and their ceremony in the House of Lords will take place on 13 April.

TRANSLATIONS

We need a new Spanish translator as our comrade David has fallen ill; we got several dozen volunteers for the job.

Oct
13
2015
0

Massacre in Ankara, and more

In the last 3 weeks …

Massacre in Ankara:

Upon hearing the news on Saturday morning from our comrades in DISK, we mobilized correspondents to post many news stories, to translate some of them from English, and to encourage global unions to issue statements, many of which have done so. (more…)

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