Category: Correspondents

Our next book, new campaign, donations, and more

Books

Work is being done on our book on migrant labour which we hope to launch in Toronto. We have a cover and the inside pages are nearly done.

Campaigns

I’ve asked the KCTU and HKCTU for permission to close down the Korea and China campaigns, both of which have been running for a long time.
A new campaign in support of Turkish union GIDA-IS is about to go live.
The campaign submission page has a new field for videos so these can be incorporated into future campaigns.
I did the monthly review of translations into our major languages and identified some problems, especially with German campaigns.

Correspondents

Weekly mailings to all correspondents continue. One focussed on the use of states and regions in news stories; the other encouraged the 90% who’ve been inactive to get active.

Donations

We received a large donation from a branch of Unite the Union in the UK. The Education International and UNI have also made substantial donations to us.

News

Mahesh pointed out a problem with tweeting a news story with a apostrophe in the title.

Radio

I have submitted weekly programmes to WINS on the terrorist attacks in Brussels and the new crackdown on independent unions in Egypt.

Upcoming

On Thursday, I’ll be speaking on a panel with a leader of Unite the Union and Amnesty International’s Shane Enright on corporate campaigning, in London.

2 new campaigns, conference getting closer, new correspondents, etc. – two weeks in the life of LabourStart

Campaigns:

At the request of the Education International, we launched a campaign in defense of a jailed teacher trade unionist.
The ITF requested and we launched a campaign protesting the killing in custody of a Gambian trade union leader.
A Turkish union, GIDA-IS, has asked us to do a campaign which we will launch shortly.

Conference:

We now have a draft agenda ready, a logo, a WordPress blog is being created, and we have hired an intern to work with us on this (Angela).

Correspondents:

I resumed weekly mailings to all our 600+ correspondents. Each week, they get news and ideas how they can be more active or use LabourStart better. Focusses of recent mailings have included encouraging them to get their unions to issue statements in support of our campaigns, International Women’s Day, and how to link campaigns to news.
I added at least 16 new correspondents in the last two weeks — there had been a backlog dating back to January.

Mailing lists:

We’ve added hundreds of new people to our lists due to the recent campaigns.

Newswires:

I fixed the script that builds the JavaScript newswire, adidng a requirement that stories be in English, because there are now Russian and French priority 1 news stories.
It also turned out that there was an old, broken link to our campaigns newswire on the site, but this has now been fixed.

Outreach:

I’ve been invited to speak on a panel on 31 March in London, together with Shane Enright from Amnesty International, on campaigning. The panel is hosted by the Ethical Trading Initiative.
I will also be representing LabourStart at an event to be held in mid-April at the House of Lords in London; details to follow.

Ratify the Protocol:

We continue offering support to this important initiative from the ITUC (against modern slavery) and this month did a mailing to our Italian list after our volunteer translators translated the ITUC’s campaign page.

WINS Working World – Labor Radio:

I continue with recording weekly programs — the most recent one was on the Palestinian teachers’ strike. These can be found here: http://www.laborradio.org/?zone=/unionactive/view_page.cfm&page=The20Working20World

LabourStart in Numbers – December 2015 – February 2016

Some highlights:

  • Nearly 900 new subscribers on our Korean list
  • Hundreds of new followers on Twitter, on several lists
  • The emergence of major new presence on Facebook for LabourStart Brasil
  • Big gains in traffic to both the news and campaigning websites

The second number is the previous quarter (if we have it); some lines are particularly interesting and have been highlighted in green.

Mailing lists

English: 85,445 – 85,588
French: 8,438 – 8,325
German: 5,870 – 5,785
Spanish: 5,455 – 5,448
Italian: 4,029 – 3,970
Korean: 3,965 – 3,068
Turkish: 3,722 – 3,719
Norwegian: 2,736 – 2,782
Russian: 2,438 – 2,433
Dutch: 1,774 – 1,774

Swedish: 1,255 – 1,256
Chinese: 1,112 – 1,103
Polish: 798 – 793
Finnish: 687 – 687
Japanese: 518 – 488
Portuguese: 468 – 416
Arabic: 450 – 463
Indonesian: 346 – 346
Hebrew: 286 – 282
Tagalog: 254 – 254
Farsi: 242 – 242

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 15,817 – 15,395
Canada English: 5,207 – 4,962
Canada French: 956 – 876
USA: 582 – 563
Italian: 448 – 421
Indonesia: 368 – 360
Swedish: 345 – 306
French: 226 – 229
German: 90 – 90
Spanish: 74 – 76
Portuguese: 71 – 47
Japanese: 22 – 21
Russian: 18 – 18

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 10,319 – 10,177
Members of LabourStart group: 8,572 – 8,611
Friends of LabourStart Brasil: 1,198
Like LabourStart page (French): 500 – 483
Like LabourStart page (German): 462 – 447
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 168 – 169
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 151 – 148
Members of LabourStart Vostok [Russian]: 89 – 82

UnionBook

Members: 5,915 – 5,909

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,996 – 1,970

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 802 – 791

Website

Correspondents: 802 – 798

LabourStart.org (news)

Unique users – 31,026 – 22,366

Top countries (by sessions):

USA 25% – 29%
Canada 16% – 15%
UK 11% – 9%
Australia 5% – 5%
France 4%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 37,618 – 41,764
USA – English 13,089 – 13,941
Canada – English 7,616 – 6,294
India – 2,444
Home page – Norwegian – 2,309 – 2,807

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users – 39,304 – 35,723

Top countries (by sessions):

UK 15% – 17%
USA 13% – 14%
Canada 12% – 16%
Germany 6% – 5%
Belgium 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

Egypt: Torture and murder of Giulio Regeni – 13,011
China: Free jailed labour activists, stop suppressing labour organizations! – 6,692
Israel/China: Stop governments’ deal to import bonded workers – 6,324
Djibouti: Teacher trade unionist sentenced to prison – 6,213
Iran: Detained teacher unionist on hunger strike – 5,166

Android app downloads (totals)

First number is current, second number is total installs. The numbers in brackets are from the previous quarter.

English: 387 / 757 [408 / 721]
Norwegian: 38 / 48 [37 / 43]
Esperanto: 33 / 99 [30 / 88]

Total: 458 current installs [475]

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.

LabourStart in Numbers – September-November 2015

Growth is indicated below in green, and declines in red.  The second number, where available, is from the previous quarter.

Android app downloads (totals)

First number is current, second number is total installs. The numbers in brackets are from the previous quarter.

English: 408 / 721 [428 / 686]
Norwegian: 37 / 43 [33 / 31]
Esperanto: 30 / 88 [28 / 76]

Total: 475 current installs [489]

Mailing lists

English: 85,588 – 85,962
French: 8,325 – 8,299
German: 5,785 – 5,793
Spanish: 5,448 – 5,462
Italian: 3,970 – 3,998
Turkish: 3,719 – 3,755
Korean: 3,068 – 2,996
Norwegian: 2,782 – 2,749
Russian: 2,433 – 2,384
Dutch: 1,774 – 1,775

Swedish: 1,256 – 1,239
Chinese: 1,103 – 1,103
Polish: 793 – 734
Finnish: 687 – 687
Japanese: 488 – 483
Arabic: 463 – 463
Portuguese: 416 – 373
Indonesian: 346 – 346
Hebrew: 282 – 282
Tagalog: 254 – 254
Farsi: 242 – 242

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 15,395 – 14,881
Canada English: 4,962 – 4,613
Canada French: 876 – 803
USA: 563 – 524
Italian: 421 – 330
Indonesia: 360 – 341
Swedish: 306 –
French: 229 – 225
German: 90 – 75
Spanish: 74 – 76
Portuguese: 47 – 8
Japanese: 21 – 21
Russian: 18 – 19

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 10,177 – 10,078
Members of LabourStart group: 8,611 – 8,526
Like LabourStart page (French): 483 – 478
Like LabourStart page (German): 447 – 433
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 169 – 165
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 148 – 145
Members of LabourStart Vostok [Russian] – 82

UnionBook

Members: 5,909 – 5,885

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,970 – 1,948

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 791 – 790 [updated numbers not available]

Website

Correspondents: 798 – 789

LabourStart.org (news)

Unique users – 22,366 – 18,711

Top countries (by sessions):

USA 29% – 27%
Canada 15% – 15%
UK 9% – 8%
India 5%
Australia 5% – 6%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 41,764 – 33,294
USA – English 13,941 – 14,883
Canada – English 6,294 –  6,543
Home page – Norwegian – 2,807 – 870
Home page – Indonesian 2,576 -1,401

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users – 35,723 – 39,436

Top countries (by sessions):

UK 17% – 15%
Canada 16% – 19%
USA 14% – 15%
Germany 5% – 6%
Australia 5% – 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

UK: Support strikers at the National Gallery in London – 8,819
Estonia: Reinstate Sergey Mastepan – 8,493
Kyrgyzstan: Stop union-busting, reinstate Zhanaydar Ahmetov – 6,991
Korea: Stop attacks on trade unions now – 5,778
Libya: Protect female activists now! – 5,737

Campaigns supporting workers in Estonia, Turkey, India, Yemen, Israel, etc.

Most of the work in the last 13 days has focussed on campaigns:

  • We launched a new campaign at the request of the ITF, in support of workers in Estonia.
  • We’re keeping our Turkey/Mulberry campaign live at the moment at the request of IndustriALL pending some developments there.
  • I wrote to Sharan Burrow at the ITUC offering our help in growing the joint campaign with the ILO “50 for Freedom”. She replied and is happy to have our help.
  • We gave extensive publicity to the IUF’s new PepsiCo campaign on our home page, to our mailing lists, and on social media.
  • We received a campaign request from WAC Ma’an in Israel; this is on hold pending developments in the region and we also await a reply from the Histadrut.
  • We gave publicity to an IFJ campaign in support of kidnapped media workers in Yemen on social media.
  • I completed work on the new Translations Dashboard which is being used by our volunteer translators. It shows who is translating our campaigns, and prevents duplication of effort.

In other news … Continue reading

LabourStart in Numbers – Q3 2015

This quarterly report raises more questions than it answers, and here are some of them:

1. We’re showing the total number of downloads from Google’s Android store for the first time. As we can see, after some time, many users who downloaded an app cease to be active users, or delete it from their phones. What can we do to sustain our numbers and grow them?

2. Nearly all our mailing lists are either shrinking or static (Swedish is an artificial growth – imports from the English list). What can we do to grow our lists over time? (Short answer: get unions which request campaigns to promote them to their members and allies.)

3. Only 5 new correspondents added in the last 90 days — how can we bring in new ones, especially to replace those who become inactive over time?

4. Traffic to our news pages remains quite low, especially to the non-English ones. We have twice as many unique users of our campaigns as we have of news.  What can we do to drive traffic to our news site? Ads on Google and Facebook?

NEW: Android app downloads (totals)

First number is current, second number is total installs

English: 428 / 686
Norwegian: 33 / 31
Esperanto: 28 / 76

Total: 489 current installs

Mailing lists

English: 85,962 – 86,373
French: 8,299 – 8,276
German: 5,793 – 5,700
Spanish: 5,462 – 5,431
Italian: 3,998 – 4,039
Turkish: 3,755 – 3,650
Korean: 2,996 – 3,080
Norwegian: 2,749 – 2,790
Russian: 2,384 – 2,408
Dutch: 1,775 – 1,743

Swedish: 1,239 – 387
Chinese: 1,103 – 1,103
Polish: 734 – 752
Finnish: 687 – 687
Japanese: 483 – 483
Arabic: 463 – 463
Portuguese: 373 – 355
Indonesian: 346 – 346
Hebrew: 282 – 278
Tagalog: 254 – 254
Farsi: 242 – 242

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 14,881 – 14,676
Canada English: 4,613 – 4,422
Canada French: 803 – 728
USA: 524 – 521
Indonesia: 341 – 292
Italian: 330 – 290
French: 225 – 224
Spanish: 76 – 76
German: 75 – 76
Japanese: 21 – 21
Russian: 19 – 19
Portuguese: 8 – 7

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 10,078 – 9,893
Members of LabourStart group: 8,526 – 8,500
Like LabourStart page (French): 478 – 478
Like LabourStart page (German): 433 – 428
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 165 – 161
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 145 – 143

UnionBook

Members: 5,885 – 5,879

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,948 – 1,944

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 791 – 790

Website

Correspondents: 789 – 784

LabourStart.org (news)

Unique users – 18,711 – 24,170

Top countries (by sessions):

USA 27% – 28%
Canada 15% – 14%
UK 8% – 8%
Australia 6% – 8%
India 5% – 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 33,294 – 44,076
USA – English 14,883 – 13,854
Canada – English 6,543 – 6,791
Home page – Norwegian – 2,493
Australia – 2,234 – 2,673

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users – 39,436 – 30,849

Top countries (by sessions):

Canada 19% – 23%
USA 15% – 15%
UK 15% – 12%
Germany 6% – 7%
Australia 5% – 4%

Most popular pages – page views:

Iran: Free Esmail Abdi now – 13,947
China: Stop police violence against workers fighting for their rights – 13,105
Turkey: Union busting at €1,000 hand bag producer SF Leather – 10,211
Malaysia: Stop union busting in SFI – 9,058
Poland: Stop sackings and union busting at port – 4,760

LabourStart in Numbers – Q2 2015

Some highlights of this, our second quarterly report for 2015:

Mailing lists

Mailing lists have largely stagnated or shrunk in the last 3 months, though we’ve seen some modest growth for English, Swedish, French, Portuguese and Hebrew.

English: 86,373 – 86,077
French: 8,276 – 8,238
German: 5,700 – 5,708
Spanish: 5,431 – 5,446
Italian: 4,039 – 4,059
Turkish: 3,650 – 3,684
Korean: 3,080 – 3,080
Norwegian: 2,790 – 2,803
Russian: 2,408 – 2,418
Dutch: 1,743 – 1,762

Chinese: 1,103 – 1,107
Polish: 752 – 752
Finnish: 687 – 687
Japanese: 483 – 483
Arabic: 463 – 463
Swedish: 387 – 345
Portuguese: 355 – 353
Indonesian: 346 – 346
Hebrew: 278 – 277
Tagalog: 254 – 254
Farsi: 242 – 242

Other ways to count …

Social networks

Twitter followers

Unlike our mailing lists, we’re seeing continuous growth for our bigger Twitter accounts. In the last quarter, we picked up 532 new followers in English, for example, as compared to just 296 new subscribers to our mailing list.

English: 14,676 – 14,134
Canada English: 4,422 – 4,073
Canada French: 728 – 666
USA: 521 – 492
Indonesia: 292 – 230
Italian: 290 – 255
French: 224 – 221
Spanish: 76 – 75
German: 76 – 73
Japanese: 21 – 21
Russian: 19 – 19
Portuguese: 7 – 7

Facebook

Helped by an ad campaign, our biggest growth this quarter was on Facebook, where our English language page picked up 740 new likes, far more than Twitter or the mailing list.

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 9,893 – 9,153
Members of LabourStart group: 8,500 – 8,338
Like LabourStart page (French): 478 – 463
Like LabourStart page (German): 428 – 407
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 161 – 149
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 143 – 135

UnionBook

Members: 5,879 – 5,862

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,944 – 1,892

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 790 – 787

Website

Correspondents: 784 – 773

LabourStart.org (news)

Unique users – 24,170 – 35,252

Top countries (by sessions):

This has proven to be remarkably consistent from quarter to quarter, except for Australia’s fall to 4th place.

USA 28% – 25%
Canada 14% – 14%
UK 8% – 7%
Australia 8% – 16%
India 5% – 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 44,076 – 54,062
USA – English 13,854 – 15,024
Canada – English 6,791 – 8,049
Australia – English 2,673
UK – English 2,644

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users – 30,849 – 41,682

Top countries (by sessions):

The very significant growth of Canadian traffic to our campaigns may be explained this quarter by a couple of Canada-only campaigns. One of these was even the third most popular page on our campaigns site.

Canada 23% – 12%
USA 15% – 17%
UK 12% – 14%
Germany 7% – 7%
Australia 4% – 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

China: Stop police violence against workers fighting for their rights – 12,804
Malaysia: Stop union busting in SFI – 5,419
Tell Premier Wynne and Minister Flynn of Ontario to Stand on the Side of Canada’s Workers! – 5,278
Iran: New wave of arrests of labour activists prior to May Day – 4,525
Hungary: Hödlmayr does not respect trade union rights – 4,524

China campaign has broken the 10,000 barrier and more news from the 2nd week in June

Campaigns:
The China campaign now tops 10,000 messages sent and is our largest active campaign.
A followup mailing was sent to the English list, and this generated 1,600 new supporters from the 5,500 people who opened this message (but didn’t open the first one we sent).  We should consider doing this for our other large language lists.
The Hindi version of this campaign went live this week.
I discussed the possibility of a LabourStart campaign in support of jailed journalists in Turkey with a former president of the National Union of Journalists (UK) — we’d want to do this as a campaign together with the European or International Federation of Journalists.

Internationalization:
We’re still working to get the Portuguese interface working properly for adding news — nearly there. We also now have a transation of the welcome message for new correspondents. Euan has made contact with all our translators and correspondents in Brazil.
We now seem to have a working interface in Sinhalese for our campaigns and have just received the first translation of a campaign — I hope to go live with this very soon.

Books & other publications:
Derek and I have begun looking into printers for the 2016 calendar. Once we know we can do this, and afford this, we’ll begin the work on a photo competition.
With the agreement of my co-author, Jeremy Green, we’ll make our book Firefox OS for Activists, free on the Kindle.  And maybe other books later as well.

Office:
I’m exploring the possibility of re-opening a LabourStart office in London; we’ve had an offer of (free) space. More details next week.

Mailing lists:
This week, I added 558 new subscribers to 16 mailing lists – 401 of them in English.

London Labour Film Festival:
Once again, we’ll be involved in supporting this and promoting it to our supporters in the UK. The festival will take place in the fall.

Donations:
We received a generous donation from the PSEU, a union in Ireland.
I’ve written individually to half a dozen unions in the USA that we have worked with asking for donations.

Another week supporting workers in Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, etc.

Campaigns:

  • We’ve done most of the mass mailings for the two campaigns launched last week, and gotten them translated into 11 languages, and the results so far are 5,079 supporters for the Iran campaign and 5,037 for the Hungary campaign. A reminder mailing to more than 70,000 on the English list went out yesterday.
  • After 4 months online, we closed the Holcim Lafarge campaign, which had 8,580 supporters — IndustriALL says: “Clearly the campaign made its impact and was noted by the management of Lafarge and Holcim. Thanks to workers’ mobilisations both on site and through LabourStart we hope there will be more readiness on the side of the management to our demands now.”
  • A possible Indonesia campaign was to go live today, but is on hold for now.
  • I’ve posted information on movements.org both about our existing Iran campaign and offering help — so far, no takers.

Online campaigning course: Just 4 days left to register — for European trade unionists only: http://www.labourstart.org/go/etui

Activating correspondents: The number of active correspondents increase by 63% following my mailing to all correspondents. In addition, we’ve picked up a few new correspondents.

Facebook Group: Our group continues to expand with many new participants (8,436 members today) and quite a high level of activity. There’s been a problem of spammers, but our team of volunteer admins is on the case.

London Hackathon: There’s an event taking place on 12 June at the Mozilla Foundation offices in London at which people with programming skills will work on pro-labour tools — and we’ll be there and are part of the planning.  I met with the organizer this week.  On the event website they write: “The aim is to provide a forum where people can meet, share ideas and start building some apps that will help workers to organise.”  This could result in getting some things done for LabourStart which have long been on our collective to-do list.

Followup on the police complaint in Israel regarding the LabourStart campaign: We’ve been asked by International Union Rights to do an article on this for next month.