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.

Aug
01
2018
3

LabourStart in Numbers: May – July 2018

Some highlights:

* Our mailing lists are shrinking in size, largely due to the effect of GDPR – which prevents us from automatically signing up new supporters for our campaigns. All of our top 10 lists have gotten smaller, and the only lists to grow were three of the small ones (Esperanto, Indonesian and Ukrainian).

* Growth on Facebook has also been tiny, with a number of our pages showing declines. This cannot be blamed on GDPR.

* Some good news: Our larger feeds on Twitter are growing well – 240 new followers for our main English global feed, 559 for our Canadian feed in English, and 258 for our US feed. But our smaller feeds remain neglected, we are not posting regularly to them, and they are not growing.

In the list below, the first number is the current total, the second one is our previous total.

Mailing lists

The top 10:

English: 81,559 – 82,997
French: 8,658 – 8,907
German: 6,131 – 6,225
Spanish: 5,372 – 5,432
Turkish: 4,189 – 4,205
Korean: 3,740 – 3,773
Italian: 3,733 – 3,821
Norwegian: 2,644 – 2,647
Russian: 2,484 – 2,501
Dutch: 1,669 – 1,679

The others:

Swedish: 1,180 – 1,180
Chinese: 1,040 – 1,055
Arabic: 957 – 957
Portuguese: 861 – 865
Polish: 798 – 798
Finnish: 595 – 595
Japanese: 447 – 454
Indonesian: 395 – 394
Ukrainian: 273 – 272
Hebrew: 264 – 266
Farsi: 232 – 232
Georgian: 217 – 217
Tagalog: 203 – 205
Esperanto: 174 – 171
Hungarian: 156 – 158
Danish: 91 – 91
Czech: 73 – 76
Thai: 64 – 64
Greek: 57 – 58
Romanian: 41 – 41
Hindi: 37 – 37
Vietnamese: 25 – 25
Bulgarian: 18 – 18
Slovakian: 15 – 20
Creole: 12 – 12
Sinhalese: 1 – 1

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 12,395 – 12,377
Members of LabourStart group (Global Labour News and Information): 8,795 – 8,830
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 2,368 – 2,406
Like LabourStart UK page: 2,033 – 2,020
Like LabourStart page (French): 576 – 574
Like LabourStart page (German): 493 – 493
Friends of LabourStart Brasil: 428 – 415
LabourStart TV: 403 – 401
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 159 – 159
Members of LabourStart Vostok (Russian): 126 -124

Twitter

English: 20,545 – 20,305
Canada English: 9,469 – 8,910
USA: 3,560 – 3,302
Australia: 2,676 – 2,688
Canada French: 1,957 – 1,948
Italian: 532 – 527
Swedish: 366 – 369
Indonesia: 353 – 355
Portuguese: 291 – 277
French: 231 – 231
German: 95 – 92
Spanish: 69 – 68
Russian: 28 – 24
Japanese: 19 – 19
Norwegian: 18 – 18
Turkish: 14 – 14
Dutch: 12 – 12
Arabic: 7 – 8

Linked In

LabourStart group: 2,028 – 2,038

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 831 – 832

Website traffic to the main news website

Visitors 239,465

Top countries (by sessions):

USA 32%
UK 7%
Germany 7%
Canada 7%
India 6%

Correspondents: 883 – 877

Jul
20
2018
1

Russia campaign takes off

Our campaign in support of Professor Maxim Balashov and the trade union at MIPT in Moscow is growing very rapidly, thanks to a surge of support from teachers’ unions in many countries. It is our first campaign in some time to exceed 8,000 supporters, having picked up more than 2,000 new supporters in the last week.

We’ve also seen significant growth for our Norway, Korea, and XPO campaigns. (Growth for the last two is due to followup mailings sent out this week to our English list.) We’ve scheduled a similar mailing in support of the Australia campaign which will go out this evening and should jump-start that effort too, and probably bring it up to over 6,000 supporters.

Here’s a snapshot of how our campaigns are doing – the number in brackets is where stood a week ago:

Russia: Union-busting at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology – 8,006 [5,996]
Norway: Sekkingstad and Sund, stop union busting! – 7,276 [6,869]
France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,150 [7,141]
Turkey: After nearly a year on the picket lines, it’s time for DPDHL to negotiate with the union – 6,733 [6,714]
USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union – 6,727 [6,717]
Korea: Oracle workers on strike – 6,548 [5,878]
XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 6,488 [5,503]
Australia: Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers – 5,174 [5,155]
Shell – Stop cheating contract workers! – 3,562 [3,515]
Canada: Solidarity With Women Striking for a Living Wage! – 2,014 [1,884]

In other news this week …

Europe: We had extensive coverage of the Amazon strike in Spain, Germany and Portugal, both on our news pages and in social media. The strikes were timed to coincide with Amazon’s Prime Day.

Georgia: We publicised the terrible mine disaster widely on social networks.

Germany: A belated fundraising mailing produced good results, with some 26 donors giving an average of €27 each.

India: We promoted both with a mailing and on social media Traidcraft’s campaign in support of tea workers — after getting the green light from the IUF, who have also promoted this campaign.

Turkey: We promoted the IUF’s new Cargill campaign on social media.

Campaigns: We had a problem that some of our campaigns included graphics (union logos) on insecure web pages; this broke our page and some people were seeing warnings in their browsers. There were 21 campaign pages in various languages that had this problem; all of them are now fixed.

Correspondents: We signed up four new correspondents from Australia, Ireland, Liberia and Ukraine. We wrote to 28 of our correspondents in Australia appealing to them to become more active.

Events calendar: The script to delete events had been broken; we have now fixed this.

Mailing lists: We asked our translators to translate 18 words of text to encourage people to join our mailing lists – in the next few days this will be added to our campaign software, and should boost the numbers joining our lists (we already do this in English). This is a followup to changes we had to make in accordance with GDPR which bans us from automatically adding people to our lists. This week we were able to add 55 people to our lists, 42 of them to the English list.

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.

May
11
2018
0

May Day, events calendar, fund-raising, privacy and more …

May Day: Following an appeal to correspondents, we tripled the number who posted news on May 1st, and posted well over 200 news stories on the day. A number of previously-inactive correspondents have gotten involved again, in some cases after requesting new passwords from us.

Events calendar: This is a little-used part of our home page for individual countries, but it could be a great service for the labour movement. Any correspondent can add events; to do so, click on the link after you’ve logged in to post news. In the last couple of weeks, we added quite a few new events, mostly to the UK and USA pages. Please add more.

Fundraising: We’ve taken in about £7,000 since we launched our fundraising appeal last month; this is not bad, and overall 2017-18 was a good year.

GDPR: To comply with this EU directive, we’ve amended the Privacy statement on LabourStart and unticked the box on our campaigns page, meaning that people who now wish to join our mailing list must click the box in order to do so.

Germany: Eric Lee met with a delegation of German trade unionists who were in the UK on a study visit; he made a presentation and distributed fliers about LabourStart.

Iran: We closed the Esmail Abdi campaign after more than three months and are awaiting a response from the global union on what effect, if any, our campaign had.

Panama: We were asked to prepare to launch a campaign on this, but the global union has decided to do this on their own; we’ve asked why and they’ve promised to get back to us on this.

Ukraine: Our Ukrainian language home page now works like our Russian one, with headlines and more.

Zimbabwe: We offered to campaign in support of teachers in their struggle, but in the end it turned out not to be necessary as an agreement was finally reached with the government.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Correspondents,Events,Fund-raising |
May
02
2018
1

LabourStart in Numbers, January – April 2018

This is the first report in five months – sorry for the delay. The next report will come out in three months — in early August.

Some highlights:

* As I reported last time, our mailing are generally 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 good news is the our Arabic list nearly doubled in size, and we have a new list in Georgia with about 200 people.

* On Facebook, we’ve seen no growth at all in recent months.

* On Twitter, there’s been excellent growth of the global English feed, as well as our Canadian and US feeds, but nowhere else.

* A survey of traffic to our news and campaigns websites shows a decrease in the number of visitors overall, but a massive surge of visitors from China. However, one needs to show caution. Those thousands of Chinese visitors did not sign up to our campaigns in the Chinese language and did not land on our Chinese language news pages. Our assumption has to, therefore, that these were bots, not people.

In the list below, the first number is the current total, the second one is our previous total.

Mailing lists

English: 82,997 – 84,753
French: 8,907 – 8,993
German: 6,225 – 6,279
Spanish: 5,432 – 5,509
Turkish: 4,205 – 4,217
Italian: 3,821 – 3,871
Korean: 3,773 – 3,773
Norwegian: 2,647 – 2,709
Russian: 2,501 – 2,580
Dutch: 1,679 – 1,667
Swedish: 1,180 – 1,243
Chinese: 1,055 – 1,074
Arabic: 957 – 495
Portuguese: 865 – 877
Polish: 798 – 798
Finnish: 595 – 643
Japanese: 454 – 494
Indonesian: 394 – 392
Hebrew: 266 – 276
Ukrainian: 272 – 268
Farsi: 232 – 232
Georgian: 217
Tagalog: 205 – 225
Esperanto: 171 – 169
Hungarian: 158 – 158
Danish: 91 – 97
Czech: 76 – 79
Thai: 64 – 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

Facebook:

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 12,377 – 12,379
Members of LabourStart group (Global Labour News and Information): 8,830 – 8,874
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 2,406 – 2,506
Like LabourStart UK page: 2,020 – 2,037
Like LabourStart page (French): 574 – 578
Like LabourStart page (German): 493 – 496
Friends of LabourStart Brasil: 415
LabourStart TV – 401 – 401
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 159 – 163
Members of LabourStart Vostok (Russian): 124 – 117

Twitter

English: 20,305 – 18,488
Canada English: 8,910 – 7,745
USA: 3,302 – 1,898
Australia: 2,688 – 2,653
Canada French: 1,948 – 1,872
Italian: 527 – 538
Swedish: 369 – 370
Indonesia: 355 – 360
Portuguese: 277 – 278
French: 231 – 230
German: 92 – 92
Spanish: 68 – 70
Japanese: 19 – 21
Russian: 24 – 19
Norwegian: 18 – 19
Turkish: 14 – 16
Dutch: 12 – 12
Arabic: 8 – 8

Linked In

LabourStart group: 2,038 – 2,042

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 832 – 829

Website traffic (1.1.18 – 1.5.18)

LabourStart.org (news) –

Unique users 38,143 – 55,884

Top countries (by sessions):

USA 20% – 21%
Canada 13% – 16%
UK 10% – 12%
China 9%
India 6% – 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 32,104 – 48,545
USA – English 16,018 – 20,156
Canada – English 6,679 – 8,527
India 3,509 – 5,175
UK – 3,465

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users 43,447 – 56,231

Top countries (by sessions):

China 39%
USA 9% – 12%
UK 8% – 14%
Canada 5% – 12%
Germany 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

The number in brackets is the total number of those who have signed up to support the campaign.

Fiji: End the lockout at Nadi Airport – 12,075 [7,969]
Iran: Esmail Abdi back in prison – free him now – 9,700 [8,372]
Algeria: New government attack on independent energy union – 9,219 [10,005]
Turkey: Smart suits, shabby treatment: Sponsor of Bundesliga teams fires union members – 6,904 [7,901]
Georgia: Time for a new labour law – 5,531 [6,070]

 

Website

Correspondents: 877 – 873

Apr
28
2018
0

Toward £5,000 – our annual fundraising campaign gets off to a good start

Fundraising: We’ve taken in just under £4,400 (including one substantial donation by a global union federation), and in the next few hours expect to take in more as we’ve just done a followup mailing to our English list. People have been extremely generous and we really appreciate the great response. Translations of the appeal have gone out to ten of our mailing lists — thanks to our volunteer translators in Italian, Tagalog, Spanish, Turkish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Czech, Japanese, and Thai. With luck, we will be over £5,000 by the end of the day today.

Mailing lists: Despite having no new campaigns for some time, we added 98 new subscribers this week to our mailing lists (mostly Arabic, but some for our English, Russian, Hebrew and Japanese lists too).

Georgia: Eric Lee was in Tbilisi most of last week, and was invited by the Georgian Trade Union Confederation to meet its younger activists, including those responsible for social media. One of them was already a LabourStart correspondent. The meeting lasted for more than an hour, and focussed on news, campaigns, and our global solidarity conferences, and was very productive. In addition, we met with a representative a smaller, independent union and the Solidarity Center as well.

Iran: Our campaign in support of jailed teacher trade unionist Esmail Abdi has now been running for more than three months. We’ve asked the Education International if it’s now time to suspend the campaign. If we do that, we’re down to just one live campaign (Turkey).

Kazakhstan: In November last year we were approached by the Norwegian union behind the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights (which LabourStart was awarded in 2016) and were asked to nominate a union deserving of the award. After a consultation among members of our executive, we recommended that the brave independent trade unionists of Kazakhstan be awarded the prize this year. We were delighted to learn this week that our suggestion was accepted and our friends in Kazakhstan will receive this vital recognition — and financial support.

Panama: We’ve been approached by a global union federation to launch a campaign in support of workers in Panama and we hope to have something live in a day or two.

Philippines: We sign up a new correspondent from the KMU union.

Thailand: We did our first mailing to our Thai language mailing list in four years, and another today as we renew our connection the labour movement in this country.

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.

Feb
18
2018
0

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.

Feb
07
2018
3

Mass mailings with a difference, new correspondents, revived language editions and more

The main news story for us last week was the sudden passing of our friend and comrade Andrew Casey. (See the the stories below for our obituary, shared with LabourStart’s English language mailing list, and a video of Andrew’s first – and last – speech.)

We’ve begun a series of mass mailings, probably one per month, which will not focus just on a campaign, but on news and analysis. (This is one more way in which LabourStart is not a clicktivist organisation.) The first such message is a 500-word piece by Derek Blackadder about the split in the Canadian labour movement. It got a lot of feedback, and was a good thing. We’re open to your ideas about what subjects we should cover and who should write these short, 500-word pieces (with links of course).

This week we added four new correspondents, one from Australia, one from India and two from Georgia. That’s a total of six new correspondents in three weeks. I’ve decided to resume doing regular (probably monthly) mailings to all correspondents. If any of you have any thoughts about this — things we could be saying — please let me know.

We continue to revive our dormant language editions, and following the success with Finnish and Swedish, last week we recruited a new translator for Polish. Next week, we’ll focus on Japanese.

Finally, our mailing lists continue to grow, despite not having new campaigns. We picked up 105 new subscribers this week.

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