Category: Correspondents

New campaigns, improved tools and an instructional video

I was travelling for most of the last two weeks, but here are some updates anyway.

Campaigns:

  • We launched a new campaign in support of Kenyan truckers at the request of the International Transport Workers Federation.  Over 5,300 people have already signed up to support the campaign.
  • We closed down the Rio Tinto Valentine’s Day campaign at the request of IndustriALL and the Peru campaign given to us by Public Services International.  The campaign got over 9,000 messages sent to the company and definitely got their attention.
  • We did a followup mailing and additional publicity in support of sacked Ecuadorian union activist Jimena Lopez, adding another 1,110 new supporters to the campaign. Increasingly we do followup mailings to people who didn’t open the first message and this produces good results.  That campaign has just over 8,000 supporters.
  • We now have a new template for our mass mailings which includes some good links not just to forward the mail but to post to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

International Women’s Day:

  • We sent all correspondents a link to short instructional video on how to tag working women’s news stories on LabourStart. (We’ll be making more videos like this – let me know what you’d like done.)

New campaign, working women’s news, online forum, 2015 retreat, new address – another 6 days at LabourStart …

Campaigns:

We launched a new campaign yesterday in support of the ITF’s fight to get Ecuadorian trade unionist Jimena Lopez reinstated. The campaign is linked to International Women’s Day. In less than 24 hours, the campaign was live in three languages and had just under 3,000 supporters.

We did a special mailing on Monday in support of forestry workers in Gabon. They approached us for help, we turned to BWI and BWI have done their own online campaign which we’re supporting.  As a result of our effort, over 5,000 people visited their campaign page.

We’re about to close another Latin American campaign – this one was launched on the eve of the climate change summit in Peru. It was a somewhat small campaign for us, getting fewer than 6,000 supporters. I’ve asked PSI to update us on the results.

The fight with Rio Tinto has heated up. Tonight there’s a conference call with all the partners, led by IndustriALL — I’ll let you all know what’s happened. That campaign has already sent over 9,000 messages of protest, and the company is rather upset about all this.

Our largest current campaign remains the Turkish health care workers, with 10,639 supporters, a gain of 99 in the last 6 days. Some comrades in the UK have begun an effort to do a paper version of this campaign, and will be inputting the signatures manually.

IndustriALL have decided to use a different campaigning platform for their upcoming Turkey campaign which looks likely to be a big one.

Working Women’s News Page:

This has been updated and promoted, and we’ve gotten several more volunteer correspondents as a result. The page is here: http://www.labourstart.org/women The next step, I think, is to create pages in languages other than English. Any suggestions for pages we should be linking to are most welcome.

Correspondents’ forum:

I’ve downloaded some forum software we haven’t used before and will begin setting it up in order to test it. Update coming soon.

Solidarity Retreat 2015:

I’ve arranged a meeting with the European Trade Union Institute on 7 April in Brussels; I hope to be able to nail down dates before then if possible.

New contact details:

We have a new generic inbox for LabourStart — [email protected]. Expect to see more and more of this address being used.

We also have a new mailing address:

LabourStart
Suite 504
394 Muswell Hill Broadway
London N10 1DJ
U.K.

UnionBook:

We’ve sent a long list of issues to Ning, which is the platform we use for UnionBook, and have gotten a detailed response today. One of our more enthusiastic UnionBook members has been working on this, but the site remains largely dormant, though it has 5,857 members.

The last 20 days

Sorry for the delay in getting this report out, but I spent a full week away from London doing research for my upcoming book.  Nevertheless, it’s been a busy 20 days — and for want of a better idea, here are the main stories in alphabetical order:

Campaign initiatives: We’ve asked BWI about possibly supporting striking forestry workers in Gabon; Andy passed this one on and we’re waiting to hear back.  We asked the ITF if there’s any Iranian campaigns coming up, as some comrades in the UK have been keen to get us involved in that issue again.  We approached Unite in the UK to try to get a campaign going in support of their effort to block the docking in the UK of a ship named for a Nazi war criminal; Shell eventually backed down and there was no need for a campaign.

Donations: We’ve gotten substantial commitments from unions in Norway and Canada; thanks very much to Derek and Espen for making the push.   We received a generous donation from IndustriALL.

Greece: We did a mass mailing several languages in support of the German trade union leaders’ appeal.  Several thousand people responded but many had difficulties both with the language (much of the appeal was not translated from the German) and the software, which was unreliable.  Nevertheless, our effort was appreciated and thanks to Andrea, Silvana, Gisela and the comrades in Berlin for encouraging us to do this.

Mailing lists: We picked up a fairly large number of new subscribers to our English list thanks to the Rio Tinto campaign, and we now have 86,705 subscribers to that list.    The French list, our second largest, is up to 8,224.  In the last year, the English list has had a net gain of about 1,500 and the French one has gained 800.

New correspondents: Among new correspondents we’ve added recently is a Norwegian trade unionist based in Palestine; I hope this will help improve our coverage of Palestinian trade union news.

Right to strike: We were asked by a Canadian union to do a special mailing to support their campaign on the right to strike, and did so yesterday.  We’ve also been providing news coverage of actions around the world.

Rio Tinto campaign: We launched this two weeks ago and had an immediate reaction from the company.  Working together with our partners in IndustriALL and two NGOs, we’ve sent the company a very short letter in response.  More details coming soon.  At the moment, the campaign has 8,822 supporters and appears in 12 languages.

Support for existing GUF campaigns: We publicized both a BWI and IUF campaign in a recent mailing.  The IUF campaign focusses on Sheraton and highlights the struggle in Addis Ababa — the local union leader there will be familiar to some of you as he attended our conference in Berlin last May; we have been passing on details of their fight to the IUF and are delighted to have helped support them.

Week 4 of 2015: Deepening cooperation with the European Trade Union Institute

I’ve just come back from two days in Brussels where I had meetings at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and also with Silvio Gonzato, Director of Human Rights and Democracy at the European External Action Service.

ETUI will be holding a course which I proposed at the DGB (German national trade union centre) education center in Hattingen from 24-26 June 2015 which will focus primarily on LabourStart campaigns — and which will culminate in the live launch of an actual campaign. Invitations will go out in the next month or two.

Also ETUI has offered extensive cooperation with us in the holding of our 2015 Strategic Retreat — more details soon.  A big thanks to Silvana for all her help setting up these important meetings and deepening our cooperation with European trade union institutions.

In other news this week, we picked up nearly 300 new subscribers to our mailing lists. Our Lafarge Holcim campaign has now grown to over 8,000 messages; our Turkish health care workers campaign is one of our largest with 10,340 supporters; and we’ll shortly be closing our USA Zara campaign which only got 7,769 supporters in the three months it was online.

We’re making slow progress on publications — we have a Flickr group set up to receive candidate photos for our Global Labour Calendar; work continues on the migrant labour book; I’m waiting for some more documents before we can progress on our Global Crisis, Global Solidarity book.

We published links to an average of 193 news stories per day, every day in January so far, for a total of over 5,400 news stories.  74 of our correspondents have been active posting news in January — out of 763 correspondents.  In other words, over 90% of the correspondents did not post news in January.  Of those who did, 12 posted 100 or more stories.  If you’re reading this and are an inactive LabourStart correspondent and need help (don’t remember your password, or have forgotten how to add news), please don’t hesitate to write to me – [email protected].

LabourStart in Numbers – December 2014

The next report will appear on April 1st as this will from now on be a quarterly report, not monthly.

Mailing lists with 200 or more subscribers – the second number is from the previous month

English: 85,230 – 85,619
French: 8,202 – 8,186
German: 5,568 – 5,524
Spanish: 5,414 – 5,355
Italian: 4,088 – 4,085
Turkish: 3,668 – 3,614
Korean: 3,080 – 3,080
Norwegian: 2,801 – 2,813
Russian: 2,466 – 2,466
Dutch: 1,695 – 1,687
Chinese: 1,106 – 1,106
Polish: 752 – 752
Finnish: 687 – 687
Japanese: 483 – 483
Arabic: 463 – 463
Portuguese: 353 – 353
Indonesian: 344 – 344
Hebrew: 270 – 271
Tagalog: 254 – 254
Farsi: 242 – 242
Swedish: 236 – 205

Other ways to count …

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 13,646 – 13,479
Canada English: 3,800 – 3,725
Canada French: 624 – 619
USA: 442 – 430
French: 218 – 217
Indonesia: 179 – 150
Spanish: 73 – 73
German: 71 – 70
Japanese: 22 – 22
Russian: 18 – 18
Italian: 14 (new account)
Portuguese: 7 – 7

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 9,112 – 9,019
Members of LabourStart group: 8,258 – 8,205
Like LabourStart page (French): 463 – 458
Like LabourStart page (German): 391 – 392
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 144 – 144
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 112 – 112

UnionBook

Members: 5,846 – 5,842

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,835 – 1,815

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 786 – 787

Website

Correspondents: 762 – 759

For December 2014  – Please note that in some cases, counting did not begin on the 1st of the month, so the numbers will not be complete. Also, December is a notoriously weak month, with many people no longer in school or at work for the last third or more of the month.

LabourStart.org (news)

Unique users – 7,869

Top countries (by sessions):
USA 26%
Australia 20%
Canada 10%
India 6%
UK 6%

Most popular pages (% of pageviews):
Home page – English 42%
USA – English 11%
Canada – English 5%
India – 4%
UK – English 2%

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users – 10,810

Top countries (by sessions):
UK 16%
USA 11%
Canada 10%
Germany 7%
Spain 6%

Most popular pages (% of pageviews):
Colombia: Free Huber Ballesteros – 37%
World Intellectual Property Organization fires staff union president – 8%
Peru: Attack on trade union rights on eve of climate change summit – 8%
Wizz Air: Stop union-busting now! – 7%
Freiheit für Huber Ballesteros! – 5%

LabourStart in Numbers – November 2014

With only one new campaign launched in November – and that at the very end of the month – we’re not seeing big changes to our mailing lists.

This month, however, we can welcome Swedish to the list as it now has over 200 subscribers.

We’ve also seen very good growth to our Twitter feeds — with a spectacular increase to our small Indonesian feed.

Mailing lists with 200 or more subscribers – the second number is from the previous month

English: 85,619 – 85,672
French: 8,186 – 8,166
German: 5,524 – 5,503
Spanish: 5,355 – 5,328
Italian: 4,085 – 4,097
Turkish: 3,614 – 3,579
Korean: 3,080 – 3,080
Norwegian: 2,813 – 2,804
Russian: 2,466 – 2,468
Dutch: 1,687 – 1,675
Chinese: 1,106 – 1,106
Polish: 752 – 752
Finnish: 687 – 687
Japanese: 483 – 483
Arabic: 463 – 463
Portuguese: 353 – 353
Indonesian: 344 – 343
Hebrew: 271 – 266
Tagalog: 254 – 254
Farsi: 242 -242
Swedish: 205

Other ways to count …

As there was no comprehensive report last month, the second numbers here are from two months ago.

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 13,479 – 13,125
Canada English: 3,725 – 3,511
Canada French: 619 – 571
USA: 430 – 405
French: 217 – 214
Indonesia: 150 – 99
Spanish: 73 – 74
German: 70 – 69
Japanese: 22 -22
Russian: 18 – 18
Portuguese: 7 – 7

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 9,019 – 8,891
Members of LabourStart group: 8,205 – 8,111
Like LabourStart page (French): 458 – 450
Like LabourStart page (German): 392 – 376
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 144 – 141
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 112 – 111

UnionBook

Members: 5,842 – 5,820

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,815 – 1,764

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 787 – 785

Website

Correspondents: 759 – 746

There is no report on website traffic this month as I’m not sure Click is correctly counting visits.

The month in review – October 2014

This report will be brief, but I hope I’ll be covering all the highlights of the month.

Next generation LabourStart: Our Android app is ready, and I’m making some final tweaks before submitting it to the Google Play store and elsewhere, and then publicizing it widely. I do think this is a huge step forward for us, we’ve gotten good feedback from those who’ve seen it, and mobile apps like this one are increasingly going to be our main platform.

2015 Retreat: We now have an organizing committee of 7 people, and have been putting together the basic elements. We’ll have a Skype conference call in November and will begin inviting people then.

Campaigns: We only launched two campaigns in October (as compared to 5 in September) — for the trade union at WIPO (5,813 supporters) and for workers at Zara in the USA (5,004 supporters). More campaigns are on the way, including another one from the ITF.  We gave a lot of help at the beginning of the month to IndustriALL, which was doing a Thunderclap on precarious work.

Fundraising: Some good news this month as the National Executive of Unison in the UK votes to give us £3,000 and the Norwegian union Industrie Energie votes to donate $5,000. In addition, Kevin Curran’s marathon run for us generated £1,202 (71 individual contributors).

Internationalization: We’re doing a lot of work to make sure the languages we campaign in and post news in stay alive, even when individuals who were doing the work drift away.  Big efforts were made to recruit new correspondents in Denmark and Finland this month with good results in the latter country.  Italian remains our biggest mailing list that is not getting regular mailings, so we appealed this week to our entire Italian list producing dozens of volunteer translators.

LabourStart in Numbers – September 2014

All our major mailing lists shrunk in September.

Every time we promote a campaign that’s not on our site (e.g., the IndustriALL Thunderclap, or the IUF and HKCTU campaigns on Hong Kong) the net result will be a decline in subscribers.  Some of the addresses will bounce, others will unsubscribe.  The only time we pick up new subscribers is when we run a campaign of our own — and only when that campaign is compelling enough to attract new supporters.

Mailing lists where there was no change are ones where there were no mailings — these are lists that we are not using because our volunteer translators have become inactive.  This is a particular problem with Italian, Korean and Chinese, all of which are lists with more than 1,000 supporters.

Growing lists are shown in green; shrinking lists are in red. The previous month’s total is in brackets.

Mailing lists [with 200 or more subscribers]

English: 85,095 [85,611]
French: 8,152 [8,188]
German: 5,502 [5,529]
Spanish: 5,278 [5,279]
Italian: 4,124 [4,124]
Turkish: 3,380 [3,454]
Korean: 3,080 [3,080]
Norwegian: 2,807 [2,853]
Russian: 2,480 [2,505]
Dutch: 1,687 [1,691]
Chinese: 1,106 [1,106]
Polish: 752 [734]
Finnish: 686 [684]
Japanese: 483 [483]
Arabic: 463 [463]
Portuguese: 353 [353]
Indonesian: 344 [338]
Hebrew: 267 [265]
Tagalog: 254 [254]
Farsi: 242 [242]

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 13,125 [12,642]
Canada English: 3,511 [3,344]
Canada French: 571 [505]
USA: 405 [366]
French: 214 [212]
Indonesia: 99 [56]
Spanish: 74 [73]
German: 69 [61]
Japanese: 22 [23]
Russian: 18 [17]
Portuguese: 7 [7]

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 8,891 [8,810]
Members of LabourStart group: 8,111 [7,917]
Like LabourStart page (French): 450 [439]
Like LabourStart page (German): 376 [363]
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 141 [137]
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 111 [111]

UnionBook

Members: 5,820 [5,811]

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,764 [1,714]

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 785 [781]

Website

Correspondents: 746 [731]

Website traffic

LabourStart.org (Clicky)

Total visitors: 35,736 [36,270]

Where they come from:

USA 7,608 [8,197]
Canada 6,717 [5,712]
UK 4,526 [5,396]
Australia 2,134 [2,645]
Austria 1,484 [1,047]
Norway 1,391 [793]
Germany 932 [1,444]
Sweden 748 [–]
France 730 [741]
Belgium 619 [821]

Their operating systems:

Windows – 69.3 % [69.5%]
Mobile – 11.9% [12.2%] (iOS – 6.8% [7.1%] ; Android – 3.8% [3.8%])
Mac – 16.7% [16.2%]
Linux – 2.1% [2.1%]

LabourStartCampaigns.net (Clicky)

Total visitors: 25,324 [28,820]

Where they come from:

Canada – 4,787 [3,713]
UK – 3,939 [5,347]
USA – 3,541 [3,908]
Germany – 1,298 [1,0259]
Australia – 1,276 [1,876]
Belgium – 1,275 [1,547]
France – 1,043 1,335 [1,081]
Norway – 913 [637]
Spain 569 [–]
Switzerland 537 [–]

Their operating systems:

Windows – 67.6 % [66.8%]
Mobile – 19.7% [20.4%] (iOS – 11.0% [11.6%] ; Android – 7.4% [7.6%])
Mac – 10.6% [10.8%]
Linux – 2.1% [2%]

LabourStart in Numbers – July 2014

Mailing lists [with 200 or more subscribers]

English: 85,191 [85,258]
French: 7,917 [7,859]
German: 5,376 [5,242]
Spanish: 5,234 [5,176]
Italian: 4,098 [4,097]
Turkish: 3,450 [3,450]
Korean: 3,080 [3,081]
Norwegian: 2,839 [2,889]
Russian: 2,514 [2,525]
Dutch: 1,378 [1,369]
Chinese: 1,106 [1,105]
Finnish: 655 [655]
Polish: 640 [269]
Japanese: 483 [494]
Arabic: 451 [471]
Portuguese: 353 [353]
Indonesian: 325 [325]
Tagalog: 254 [254]
Hebrew: 248 [250]
Farsi: 242 [242]

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 12,642 [12,455]
Canada English: 3,344 [3,273]
Canada French: 505 [465]
USA: 366 [344]
French: 212 [210]
Spanish: 73 [72]
German: 61 [58]
Indonesia: 56 [41]
Japanese: 23 [23]
Russian: 17 [17]
Portuguese: 7 [7]

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 8,810 [8,763]
Members of LabourStart group: 7,917 [7,796]
Like LabourStart page (French): 439 [429]
Like LabourStart page (German): 363 [355]
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 137 [137]
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 111 [108]

UnionBook

Members: 5,811 [5,793]

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,714 [1,680]

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 781 [782]

Website

Correspondents: 731 [725]

Website traffic

LabourStart.org (Clicky)

Total visitors: 36,270 [34,769]

Where they come from:

USA 8,197 [8,200]
Canada 5,712 [5,899]
UK 5,396 [4,655]
Australia 2,645 [2,313]
Germany 1,444 [1,160]
Austria 1,047 [729]
Belgium 821 [–]
Norway 793 [1,480]
Poland 754 [–]
France 741 [778]

Their operating systems:

Windows – 69.5 % [69.3%]
Mobile – 12.2% [12.6%] (iOS – 7.1% [7.5%] ; Android – 3.8% [3.8%])
Mac – 16.2% [16.1%]
Linux – 2.1% [2.1%]

LabourStartCampaigns.net (Clicky)

Total visitors: 28,820 [28,332]

Where they come from:

UK – 5,347 [4,094]
USA – 3,908 [3,628]
Canada – 3,713 [3,603]
Australia – 1,876 [1,474]
Poland — 1,608 [–]
Belgium – 1,547 [1,076]
France – 1,335 [1,081]
Germany – 1,025 [1,289]
Norway – 637 [1,081]
Ireland 584 [–]

Their operating systems:

Windows – 66.8 % [62.8%]
Mobile – 20.4% [25.2%] (iOS – 11.6% [10.5%] ; Android – 7.6% [13.2%])
Mac – 10.8% [10%]
Linux – 2% [1.9%]

The last 3 weeks in review: 8-29 July 2014

Summer is NOT a quiet time at LabourStart …

Campaigns:

  • We launched our Gaza Ceasefire campaign on 22 July; it is already our second largest active campaign.
  • We launched a campaign in defense of jailed Iranian trade unionist Reza Shahabi on 10 July.
  • The Ecuador campaign was closed after 3 months.
  • I’ve followed up with the translators for our top 15 languages, trying to make sure that as many campaigns as possible appear in as many languages as possible.
  • We did very well with the recent Turkish Georg Fischer campaign and promoted news of our victory to our list, as did with the victory at LATAM in South America.  That’s two victories this month that we contributed to.
  • Using a voucher we had from Google for some free advertising, we ran ads supporting out Polish LIDL campaign; they were seen by nearly 24,000 people, but only 103 clicked on the link.

Fund-raising:

  • We received a generous donation from Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) and from the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC).
  • We’ve had an offer from a well-known comrade to run a Marathon in Wales in October to raise funds for LS; more details soon.

Events:

  • Our under-utilized Events module just got better — now you can tag an event not only by country, but by state/province as well. You can see the results by checking out our UK/England news page.

News:

  • People noticed that visiting our home page took you to a URL that included ‘2013’. This has now been fixed and instead of ‘2013’ it says ‘news’. Most people will not have noticed.

Office:

  • I’ve been given warning that we’re to be kicked out of our offices very soon. I visited possible alternatives in Finsbury Park, Bethnal Green and Muswell Hill. I’m leaning towards working from home for a few months, which will save us several thousand pounds.

Speeches:

  • LS has been invited to provide a speaker for a Unifor event in Canada.  Derek will probably do it.
  • Eric has also been invited by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) to help teach a course in Germany in September.

New contacts:

  • A comrade from a group in France called ReACT came to our offices for a meeting; we discussed many ways of cooperating.
  • I had a long meeting in London with the Morocco-based representative of the Solidarity Center; we discussed among other things the possibility of a correspondents’ meeting in the region, maybe in Tunis.
  • I followed up with all those who attended the IndustriALL communicators event last month in Italy, at which I spoke, and invited them to cooperate. Two replied, and we picked up a new correspondent in Cambodia as a result.

 

Books:

  • I’ve been encouraging comrades to post reviews of the Dan Gallin book on Amazon; some have already done so.
  • Even though book sales haven’t been amazing, for the first two months of our current financial year (June-July), book sales have made up about 10% of LabourStart’s income, though this is unlikely to continue.
  • I’ve begun adding reviews to the Gallin book to our page promoting the book — so far, only two.
  • I wrote to everyone who requested a review copy (PDF) and asked them to let me know when their reviews appear.
  • Thanks to Matt Heaney, the book is now on sale at ver.di’s bookshop, both off- and online.
  • I wrote to all 130 people who spoke at our Berlin conference reminding them that we want all their texts for our next book by the end of July.

Photo of the day:

  • For those who post these photos (mostly Derek) there’s now an explanation of how to post country-specific ones. If anyone wants to do this, email me and I’ll explain how it’s done.
  • The photo of the day is also now available on our mobile edition for the first time.

Enough for now … and now back to work …