Category: Mailing list

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]

Campaigns, conference, donations, mailing list growth – and much more

Campaigns:
We’ve asked the ITF for permission to close the Estonia campaign after 3 months. The campaign had over 8,900 supporters and appeared in 15 languages. Once this closes, we’ll only have 3 active global campaigns running.
As our Spanish translator has been ill, we need to find a new one urgently. I’m working on this today. None of our recent campaigns have appeared in Spanish, unfortunately.
We closed the Kyrgyzstan campaign after more than 4 months. The campaign had 7,752 supporters and appeared in 15 languages.
We posted translations our China campaign in several more languages. The campaign currently has just over 7,000 supporters and appears in 16 languages.
We publicized an IUF campaign (on Turkey) to our list, and used the opportunity to explain why we’d closed our recent Iran and China/Israel campaigns (with victories in both cases.)

Conference:
The conference opens in 108 days. We have 256 people registered from dozens of countries. In the next week or two we’ll have some details about workshops, topics and speakers and will do more publicity.

Donations:
UNISON in the UK has decided to donate £1,000 to LabourStart.
We’ve also been in discussions with the FNV in the Netherlands about joint work, possibly including a donation.
I will be following up with GUFs which have not donated recently.

Mailing list:
We picked up 624 new subscribers this month, mostly to the English list.

Publications:
Everything is coming together for our next book, edited by Joe Atkins, on migrant workers. We should have all we need by the end of this month, and the book should be available sometime in February (and of course for sale at our conference in Toronto).
I wrote to colleagues at the International Institute for Social History (where I participated in an all-day workshop in December) about collaborating on various projects, including a Global Labour Calendar.

Radio:
We’ve been asked by WINS (the Workers Independent News Service, based in the US) to contribute a 2.5 minute program every week and will do so. They’ve partnered with National Public Radio in the US and believe that their show will now reach an audience of 750,000 to 1,000,000. In addition to this, we continue to work closely with, and provide a weekly show for, RadioLabour based in Canada.

Ratify the Protocol:
We promoted this ITUC campaign to our mailing lists in English, Swedish and French, managing to crash their server in the process. Our efforts have more than doubled the number of people who’ve signed up. We also arranged translation of the campaign into several additional languages for them.

Twitter:
We had an exchange with a couple of senior staff at Twitter about a possible LabourStart involvement in their new Moments project; at the moment, this won’t happen but may down the road.

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’s first-ever strategic retreat

On 18-20 September, about 25 LabourStart senior correspondents and translators, together with partners from the global union federations, met at the offices of the German national trade union centre in Brussels for our first-ever strategic retreat.

It was a meeting with few speeches and lots of discussion and resulted in a long action plan, including the creation of a very small Executive and a number of working groups.

The Executive members (pictured below) are Espen Løken, Andrew Casey, Kirill Buketov, Silvana Pennella, Eric Lee (editor), Gisela Neunhöffer, and Derek Blackadder.

executive

More details to follow in the next few weeks.

Here are some other highlights of the last two weeks (in alphabetical order by subject) …

Bank: Our bank, the trade-union-owned Unity Trust, has changed its sort code. If you need to make transfers to our account, write to [email protected] and I’ll send you the new details.

Books: I have ordered, and will be distributing, 60 copies of our red book on online campaigning at the upcoming FES event on online campaigning in Berlin, early next month.

Campaigns:

  • We launched a new campaign in support of workers in Kyrgyzstan, working together with IndustriAll.
  • Mulberry, the target of our current Turkey campaign, has written to everyone who sent a message laying out their side of the story. IndustriALL will be giving us a response.
  • We are in discussions with FIM, the musicians’ GUF, about a possible campaign in support of their affiliate in Cameroon.
  • We sent out a mass mailing in English to promote our victory in Aeroflot — and to encourage people to sign up to all our current campaigns.
  • Though not a formal campaign, we gave extensive publicity on the site and on social media to the death in custody of an Iranian trade union activist, Shahrokh Zamani.

Conference: Our Global Solidarity Conference will be held in Toronto in May 2016. More details coming soon.

Inside LS (this blog): I’ve tried to fix the automated mailings of new posts from here so that the subject line isn’t always “Breaking News” — we’ll know in a moment if that worked.

Mailing lists: We added 193 new subscribers this week, 245 last week, and 580 the week before that, for total of 1,018 — mostly to the English list.

Portuguese/Brazilian LS: We’ve gotten our Facebook and Twitter feeds going now. We also now have a ‘What is LS?’ page there in Portuguese.

Outreach:

  • The German national trade union centre DGB has a major article on LabourStart in their magazine, both the print and online versions.
  • I completed the text of an interview about LS for an Italian language magazine published in Luxemburg.
  • I was invited to speak at two meetings of Waltham Forest UNISON in North London, and publicized our campaigns, giving out our flyers to a few dozen members.
  • Several of us met in Brussels with the head of communications of the European Trade Union Confederation and discussed cooperation.

UnionBook: We’ve had to migrate control of the domain name (unionbook.org) from our previous provider, and managed to get this to work, though the site was offline for several hours. We’ve removed all references to LabourStart from its front page as we consider next steps for this social network.

Summer’s over – and LabourStart gets busy again

It’s not been much of summer here in London, but then again, it never is.

Here’s how we’ve spent the last 3 weeks:

Campaigns

We launched one in support of port workers in Gdansk, together with Solidarnosc and the ITF. As today, it has 7,045 supporters and appears in 14 languages, including Polish.

We also launched a new campaign in support of striking workers at the National Gallery in London, together with PSI and the PCS union in Britain. After just a week, the campaign has 6,140 supporters and appears in 9 languages.

We closed down the China campaign, launched in June. It had 10,373 supporters. The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions told us that the campaign helped “to spread out the message and to draw attention to the imprisoned labour activists” and “although we did not hear any feedback from the Chinese government, there is one [piece of] legislation which was mentioned in this statement restricting the operation and international connection of NGOs in mainland was postponed.”

After closing the recent Hungary campaign, we receive this from the union: “Tamás Járási, president of MCDSz, thanks all those who supported this campaign. The company was upset by it, and told workers it was not a ‘true’ campaign but ‘only a spam driven from London’, and apparently complained to the Dutch ambassador about it. The union judged the campaign to be a success, and said it strengthened morale among the workers. Meanwhile, the struggle continues.”

We have been asked for help by a union in Congo and have passed this on to UNI, who are looking into it.

We’ve agreed to help BWI with a campaign in the Gulf region later this month.

An Iran solidarity group is keen to have us help with a particular prisoner; we’ve raised this with friends at Amnesty International.  It is not clear which GUF could be called upon to support this particular prisoner.

We had a request for a campaign from the Colombia Solidarity Campaign, but have not heard anything back from them after we asked some questions.

We also had a request for a campaign from Zimbabwe that stalled, and we await answers.

Mailing lists

We’ve improved the layout of mailings to our English list to give readers the chance to sign up to campaigns they missed, to donate to LabourStart, and more.

There was an attempt to add over 100 fake addresses to one of our lists, but we spotted it and spent some time dealing with the problem. We’ll need to tighten up security on our campaigns form to prevent this happening in future.

Books

We’ve resumed our partnership with unionized bookshop Powells.com with a low-key publicity campaign for a ‘book of the month’. This has led to a bit of an overhaul of our state news pages, with the country news pages coming next. (See the US states to see what I mean, for example Kentucky.)

Our Global Labour Movements book is currently being translated into Burmese (by the ILO office in Burma), into Portuguese (by Euan, our correspondent in Brazil) and Canadian (well, a Canadian edition) by Derek. The book is already available in English and French.

Events

Our events module wasn’t working on some pages (e.g., Canada, Portuguese) but is now, having been fixed.

Talks & other publicity

I have been invited to speak about LabourStart campaigns to UNISON Waltham Forest, in North London.

I will also be interviewed by an Italian-language magazine based in Luxemburg, about LabourStart, thanks to Silvana.

Apps

Andy has done the translation so that our next Android app will appear in French – in addition to the versions we have in English, Norwegian and Esperanto.

Global Solidarity Conference 2016

We’re still planning on this happening next spring in Toronto, and are waiting to confirm a final date.

Retreat

A lot of work was done by myself and others to prepare for next week’s Strategic Retreat in Brussels. More here when the Retreat is over.

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

The last 16 days at LabourStart

Campaigns:

We closed our Hungarian campaign after three months. We also closed our Iran May Day campaign, noting that all the jailed trade unionists we mentioned have now been released.

We publicized on social media a USW campaign supporting striking steelworkers, an IndustriALL campaign and an ITF campaign supporting workers at the port of Beirut.

We answered a request for help from a farm workers union in Honduras; we may launch a campaign on this.

We proposed launching a campaign in support of striking workers in the National Gallery in London to their union and PSI.

We publicized Unite the Union’s campaign targetting Pizza Express (UK) with a dedicated mailing to our UK list, and publicity on our news pages and on social media – on our initiative.

We did a dedicated mailing to our Australian list to support the AMWU’s Asbestos campaign – at their request.

I will be attending the FES conference on global labour campaigning in October in Berlin.

I began work on the code for our campaign page to compel users to enter a country and email address (for some reason this no longer works and some have made submissions with this field blank).

Mailing list:

We added 89 new subscribers so far this month.

Our Swedish list is now considerably larger as we’ve migrated hundreds of Swedes who were on our English list – back in the days when we didn’t regularly campaign in Swedish. It has grown from 387 in early July to 1,245 today. (The Norwegian list remains considerably larger at 2,763.)

News:

We’re attempting to revive the Turkish home page; got one existing correspondent to commit to working on this.

We made a special effort to give comprehensive coverage of the London Underground strikes earlier this month, and promoted that coverage on social media.

Books:

We’re slowly reviving our partnership with unionized bookshop Powells.com. See our home page in English – with more to come.

Other:

We removed an old link (very prominent) from the top of our Working Women’s News page.

We contacted UNI about an application for membership from a Palestinian postal workers union.