Things picked up in September even though August was hardly a quiet month for us.
Office: LabourStart is now firmly planted in Muswell Hill as I learn to once again work from home (with some days working in the British Library).
Finances: Our finances have improved a bit this month. We have received a substantial contribution from Fafo in Norway, from the FDHT in Geneva and also many individual donations raised on behalf of Kevin Curran’s marathon run for LabourStart in October ($1,894 so far from 67 contributors). The promotion of Fastmail as a Gmail alternative on 19 September has generated very little income for us. Unison’s National Executive is due to consider a proposal to make a donation to us this month.
Campaigns: We launched five new campaigns in September:
- Canada: Nova Scotia labor law
- Turkey: Union busting at Deva Holdings
- Colombia: Ruben Montoya
- USA: IKEA – play fair with workers
- Colombia: Luis Cardenas / Prosegur
We have been able to announce a victory at Autogrill (Germany) and will soon be able to announce another from the Philippines at NXP. We closed the Swaziland campaign after hearing that the Prime Minister has decided not to strangle trade union leaders. I also closed campaigns in Turkey and Korea after three months; the unions have not gotten back to us with updates.
In addition to promoting our own campaigns, we have helped the following organizations with promotions of their campaigns which we do not host: Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, Australian Council of Trade Unions, IUF, IndustriALL (Thunderclap) and BWI. Most other campaigning organizations will generally not do dedicated mailings to promote other organizations’ campaigns, but we do this regularly.
All our campaigns are now also in Swedish, and this is what now shows on the Swedish home page.
Books: Book sales are just under 5,700, which is very good, and some Amazon payments have started to come in. I continue to work on our next book, which consists of speeches given at the Berlin conference. Derek has been working on a Canadian edition of our Global Labour Movement book. And we’ve reached agreement with Joe Atkins to publish his collection of essays from activists around the world on migrant labour in late 2015.
- I spent a couple of days at the DGB training centre in Hattingen, Germany doing a course on online campaigning with the European Trade Union Institute.
- Derek has done some courses with Unifor in Canada.
- In November, Espen and I will be in Stockholm meeting with Swedish trade unionists to discuss cooperation (which has already begun).
- In early November, I’ll be in Vienna attending an OSCE conference, which I will cover for Equal Times, and have already written to LabourStart subscribers there suggesting a meeting.
- The FES Media project in Africa has shown interest in cooperating with us and I had a 30 minute phone call with their staffer in Windhoek, Namibia about this.
- Pete Moss, one of our Australian correspondents, visited Indonesia and wrote up a report – see below.
Retreat: We have begun some internal discussions about possibly hosting a LabourStart retreat in Tunis in March 2015. More details coming soon. We are trying out a new online tool called Trello to coordinate this.
Ello: Finally, LabourStart is probably the first labour movement institution with a page on Ello, the new social network.
For details on most of these, see the posts from throughout September on Inside LabourStart.