Jul
21
2017
0

Somalia campaign closes; we support Iranian sugar workers

Campaigns:
We closed the Somalia campaign after three months and 5,920 supporters. We’re waiting to hear what effect, if any, our campaign had.
We also did a mass mailing to promote the IUF’s campaign in support of Haft Tapeh sugar workers in Iran, as well as promoting extensively on social media.

Site redesign:
I’m pleased to report that we’re moving forward with a web design cooperative in London, and have discussed a number of changes they will make to modernise and refresh LabourStart. They’ve done some outstanding websites for progressive groups and unions, and are offering their services on a pro bono basis.

Outreach:
I had a long meeting at the TUC with their head of digital, John Wood, and we discussed ongoing cooperation.
I contacted the union official tasked with organising Uber drivers in the UK to see how we can help with their campaign.

Facebook:
We’ve picked up 510 new likes for our Turkish page (a tripling of the number) in just a few days this week thanks to our new ad campaign. We’ve informed 34,960 Turkish Facebook users about LabourStart at minimal cost. The campaign will run for a full month and it looks like after we’re done, our page will have several thousand likes.
Our ad campaign to promote LabourStart TV’s page ended after we picked up 151 new likes, having shown the ad to 4,767 Facebook users in the USA. We’ll probably resume this later this year.

Indonesian language:
We urgently need someone to translate our campaigns and mailings, and fortunately someone has now stepped forward. Indonesian is now one of our largest mailing lists.

Correspondents:
We added one new correspondent, from Canada.

Mailing lists:
Due to a lack of new campaigns, we’ve added only 1 new person to our lists this week.

Jul
01
2017
0

LabourStart TV revived

LabourStart TV:
We now have a Facebook page  to help promote our videos (and the web page itself); at the moment Derek and I are the administrators and we can add videos, but others are welcome to join us. The page has 146 likes at the moment, but this will grow quickly.
The page on LabourStart itself has been turned into a live feed of all news stories using video — in English only, but with a plan to roll this out for all other languages shortly. A lot of old stuff has now been removed from that redesigned page.

Campaigns:
We have been approached about a possible campaign in support of Chinese workers in Saipan.
I’ve also had to do a slight design of how we use campaign images on the LabourStart home page; for some languages, that had meant a blank left column — this is now fixed.
We’ve been offered a chance to try out something called PostBug which will allow some campaign supporters to send a paper version of their protest message by snail mail, through a website.

UnionBook: At their request, we have transferred the entire archive to the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam.

Indonesian: I continue to pursue translators to ensure that we can regularly translate our campaigns and mail to our Indonesian language list — our third largest list.

Esperanto: The magazine of SAT, the global left-wing Esperanto movement, has sent me some interview questions. They will shortly be running an article about LabourStart.

Correspondents: We’ve added another new correspondent from India.

Mailing lists: We added 199 addresses this — 66 of those to the English list, 22 to the Dutch, and 111 to other lists. This is four times as many people as we added to our lists last week.

Site redesign: We have a meeting scheduled with our friends at a workers’ coop in London which has offered to help us out with this. More details soon.

May
12
2017
0

Weekly round-up: We lost this round of the asbestos fight – but the struggle continues

Campaigns:

After just one month, we closed down the Asbestos campaign which we ran with APHEDA; this was a fight we lost — for now. But the campaign itself got over 7,000 supporters in a short time, and appeared in a number of languages we have not usually featured including Japanese, Indonesian, Hindi, etc.

More work was done on the pass-it-on feature (sharing campaigns by email); it’s now been tested in a number of languages. In the next few weeks, we will move to get versions working in English and French as well. There are still some issues to be worked out.

We’ve asked for permission to close the Iran campaign (Esmail Abdi) which has been running now for more than six months.

Internationalisation:

Dutch: We have another new volunteer translator, and as a result our Kazakhstan campaign is now also available in Dutch.

Esperanto: We’ve ended a 12-day-long ad campaign on Facebook which introduced LabourStart to 11,920 Esperanto speakers, 288 of whom visited this special page .
The Esperanto list, though small, has the highest rate of response to our campaigns — as high as 19.1% for the DNO Yemen campaign. That means that 1 in 5 people on the list clicked to support the campaign. By comparison, the response rate on the English list for that campaign was just 4.8%.

German: We are now caught up here with all mailings and campaigns, having done a mailing regarding the Somalia campaign. Our German list — like our Dutch — is very responsive to our appeals, and has been growing quite quickly.

Korean: The last remaining campaign and mailing which had not been translated has now been done. Thanks to our new volunteer translators, this is the first time we have had a complete set of our current campaigns available to the Korean labour movement.

Publications:

We’re going to start sending out copies of our most recent book, on migrant workers, to review editors at various progressive and labour publications. The admin stuff is all done, all we need are the addresses to send to. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Focus:

This week we’ve used our top stories feature and social media to highlight, among other things, the historically low level of strikes in Finland, the story of an Algerian trade unionist facing prison, Canada’s decision to ratify the last of the ILO core conventions, and IG Metall’s fight with Elon Musk in Germany.

We also did a special mailing to our Canadian list on the 25th anniversary of a mining disaster.

Mailing lists:

With no new campaigns, growth to the lists has inevitably slowed. Only 93 new subscribers were added this week. Our little Vietnamese language list has doubled in size, due to the Asbestos campaign.

Next week:

As I’ll be travelling with very limited Internet access, I won’t update this page until Friday, 26 May.

May
05
2017
0

Weekly roundup: Dutch, Hindi, Korean and Tagalog campaigns, mailings revived

The focus this week has been on expanding our reach to ever-larger audiences of trade unionists around the world.

Internationalisation:
An appeal to our supporters of English-language campaigns who don’t come from English language countries has resulted in a flood of new translators and new translations for long-dormant languages — in some cases languages where we have fairly large mailing lists. This includes Dutch, Tagalog, Hindi, and Korean. We also have new volunteers for Arabic, Swedish and Malay and are awaiting our first translations into those languages for a while. And we’re almost caught up now with our German language campaigns and mailings.

Campaigns:
A review of how the “pass it on” feature works (where you share a campaign by email) shows that it was used 36 times to send to many dozens of potential supporters in the previous week. I’ve put out a request for translations of the “pass it on” texts to our major languages, nearly all of which were received within a few hours (thanks translators!). We’ll now fully internationalise this, and then we’ll restore it to the English language version of our campaigns, taking precautions to ensure that it’s secure.
An appeal for supporters of the campaigns involving jailed trade unionists (Kazakhstan, Turkey) sent out to the English list and via social media on May Day generated a good response as 1,301 new messages were sent on that day.
Our Turkey (TUMTIS) campaign has now become our first campaign for a long time to get more than 10,000 supporters — helped over the top by our new Dutch language campaign.
The Liberia campaign which ran for an unprecedented 7 months has now been closed, following several extensions. But we’ve not yet heard how this turned out.

Mailing lists:
278 new subscribers were added to our English, German, French, Italian, Turkish, Esperanto and Spanish lists. This is not bad for a week in which we launched no new campaigns.

Focus:
We used our news service and social media to promote a number of specific things this week — including the oil workers strike in Nigeria, an ITUC statement on the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, and May Day around the world.

Finances:
We’ve been informed of a substantial donation coming from the Norwegian union IndustrieEnergie and from the British Columbia Teachers Federation.

Apr
28
2017
0

Weekly roundup: Finally, a week without a new campaign

It was time, however, to close some campaigns. We closed the Hungary campaign, which had 7,298 supporters and which ran in 14 languages. The union wrote back to us saying “Many thanks – the thousands of signatures gave strong support to our colleagues!” We also closed the Nigeria dockers’ campaign, sponsored by the ITF. It had 7,680 supporters and it ran in 14 languages. We’re waiting to hear what effect, if any, the campaign had. We also asked for permission to close the DNO Yemen campaign, but were asked to keep it going a while longer.

Thanks to all the new campaigns we’ve launched recently, our mailing lists are growing much more quickly. This week we added 422 new subscribers; this number was just 268 last week and 183 two weeks ago.

We’re also looking for ways to encourage people to share our campaigns. Sharing our campaigns and news as Tweets on iOS devices (iPad and iPhone) has recently become problematic, though it works fine on Android and on the web. We’re working on a solution. Meanwhile, I’ve improved the “pass it on” feature which allows people to forward campaigns to their friends by email; it is now being tested in languages other than English, which I hope to roll out next week, one certain security issues have been resolved.

We continue to promote campaigns launched by others. This week, we helped publicize the IUF’s new Cambodia campaign on our news pages and social media. We also did a mailing to our Canadian list promoting a campaign on Bangladesh, organised by a Canadian union. We’re using our news pages as well to help promote union campaigns. Until this week, the ability to link to other websites’ campaigns was working in English and French; I’ve now extended this to all other languages. You can see a working example on the Spanish page (a link to the IUF’s Spanish campaign on Indonesia).

We’ve had a problem with Google indexing one of our petition pages, which is now password protected, but which allowed them for a time access to the email addresses of some of our supporters. We have tried repeatedly to get Google to re-index the site, which would clear this information from their servers, to no avail. I’ve asked friends in the online campaigning community for advice and have received some ideas.

We continue to focus on both internationalising and localising our news and campaigns. Our new UK LabourStart Facebook page, following a mass mailing to our UK list, jumped from 77 to 479 likes. And we now have a simple “photo of the day” feature working on our Brazil page (in Portuguese).

We’re very focussed on expanding our work in other languages, in particular those where we’ve already built a large mailing list. This week we made efforts in Turkish, German and Korean. I had a very productive meeting with two of our Turkish speaking comrades at the ITF, and we made plans to continue LabourStart’s expansion in the Turkish trade union movement, including a revival of our Facebook page in Turkish. Also, our German comrades have done an excellent job in clearing the backlog of untranslated campaigns and mailings. This is hugely important as not only is our German list a very large one, but we have an exceptionally high rate of response from it. And finally, one of our largest mailing lists is the Korean one, but we’ve not been receiving translations of our campaigns and mailings. I’ve written to all our current translators, and will follow up to a wider audience if this gets no results.

Last but not least, this week we were asked to submit formal requests to two unions in the UK and Norway who have offered donations.

Apr
21
2017
0

Weekly roundup: It’s campaign season as we roll out four campaigns in two weeks

We launched one completely new campaign this week (Somalia), went live with another (Madagascar) and continued work promoting and translating other recent campaigns.

Our asbestos campaign grew from 5,728 to 6,530 supporters this week, a gain of 802.

Our Kazakhstan campaign grew even faster than that, going from 4,469 to 6,256, a gain of 1,787 — that’s a growth of 40% in one week for this campaign, which is encouraging. We attempted to give that campaign a big boost in French by tweeting an appeal to all 4 left-wing candidates in the French election, but to no avail. Nevertheless, we should consider tweeting at prominent individuals on the left and in the labour movement in future to boost campaigns.

Early in the week we launched our Madagascar dockers campaign which grew very quickly to 5,348 supporters.

And today we launched our Somalia campaign in English and Arabic, with a commitment to do our first-ever campaign in Somali as well (17 million speakers worldwide).

We asked for permission to close down the DNO Yemen campaign after 3 months, but were asked to hold off for a bit. We have a number of older campaigns on hold in this way.

We continue to promote campaigns and appeals from other organisations. These included a BWI campaign to protest redundancies in Spain, protesting the closure of labour web portal sendika.org in Turkey (could eventually be a LabourStart campaign), and a possible campaign in Morocco — we are waiting for them to clear this with their global union.

Our mailing lists continue to grow; this week we added 268 new subscribers in 22 languages, which is 50% more than we added last week, with a relatively large contingent in Russian.

We’ve been alerted to a problem with our share on Twitter link, which works fine on the web and on Android devices, but not on iOS devices. We need to figure out why.

We did a considerable amount of work continuing to internationalise the site this week. I made a number of fixes to both our news and campaigns sites in Esperanto, and drafted a message to be sent to Esperantists and their organisations around the world. This mailing list, by no means our smallest, has our highest response rate for campaigns, and a much larger list means many more supporters for our campaigns.

Kirill pointed out problems with sharing a campaign by email in Russian and these have all now been fixed.

We did the third mailing so far this year to LabourStart’s more than 600 correspondents. This time we discussed May Day, the new external campaigns feature, and helping us to fill in a black hole when one of our most active correspondents goes on holiday next month.

And finally, another global union, UNI, has made a generous donation to LabourStart this week.

Apr
14
2017
0

Weekly Roundup: Massive growth in the number of Asian languages for our campaigns

Asbestos campaign: This is now live in more languages than any other recent campaign we’ve done, thanks to APHEDA’s helping getting translations of the campaign and mailing in Indonesian, Japanese, Hindi, Vietnamese, etc. We expect to add even more Asian languages as a result, including Urdu. Some of these lists are being mailed to for the first time in years. A number of global unions, including IndustriALL and the ITUC, have publicly called for a global asbestos ban this week. As of this morning, the campaign has 5,728 supporters and is running in 18 languages.

Kazakhstan campaign: This too went live in a big way this week. We have the full support of the ITUC and IndustriALL, and the IUF did a mailing to its Russian language list to promote the campaign. This morning the campaign had 4,469 supporters and appears in 6 languages so far with more translations on the way.

Madagascar campaign: This campaign is already running on the ITF site, but they have begun publicising the version on LabourStart. We’ll begin our publicity shortly.

Somalia campaign: The journalists’ union has asked for our help; expect a new campaign in the next few days.

UK: We went live with our new UK LabourStart Facebook page, publicising it on the social network itself for now; as of this morning it has 74 likes. One of the things we’ve been able to publicise there is a new podcast done by former LabourStart intern Edd Mustill. We’ll soon do a mailing to our UK list to promote this.

Mailing lists: I did two imports this week, adding people who support our campaigns, with a total of 304 new subscribers, mostly to the English list.

Publications: I’ve begun work to complete the new edition of Campaigning Online and Winning.

Publicity: We’ve begun work on a new flyer — it will be based on our 2014 flyer, with an updated text, to be distributed at union conferences this year. We’re looking into the possibility of creating versions in multiple languages.

Arthur Svensson prize: We’ve been invited to participate in this year’s ceremony in Oslo in June.

Fundraising: BWI has made a generous donation to LabourStart which arrived this week.

Jul
19
2016
0

Translations backlog cleared – at last

LabourStart relies on a group of several dozen volunteer translators to ensure that our campaigns and mass mailings go out in a wide range of languages.  Many of those translators put the translated texts directly into our system, but some don’t or can’t, and send us emails with the content.

Sometimes, we (I) lag behind in getting those out — and in recent weeks, a real gap opened up.  We had a number of translations into German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Slovak and Turkish that were long overdue for publication.  That backlog has now finally been cleared, I’m happy to say.

I’ll try to keep pace in future, and this will be helped when we hire some staff later this summer.  Until then, any of our translators who’d like to learn how to post content themselves without emailing their translations to me, are welcome to ask for training.  Thanks for understanding — and for your patience.

Written by admin in: Internationalization |
Jul
08
2015
--

Iran, Turkey, Morocco, Malaysia, Norway, Burma and Transnistria – another week goes by at LabourStart

esmailCampaigns:

We launched a new campaign demanding the release of a jailed Iranian teacher trade union leader, Esmail Abdi, which instantly became one of our largest. The campaign has 6,700 supporters after less than two days online. Canadian teachers unions have launched a Thunderclap to help build support for this.  If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, please sign up to support this and spread the word about it.

We’ve also been asked to support a campaign in Turkey and Morocco this week as well. We’re waiting to hear from the IFJ and EFJ about a possible campaign in defense of a journalist in Transnistria who is a LabourStart correspondent.

I did a followup mailing on the Malaysia forestry workers campaign in English. That campaign is well over 8,000 messages sent, making it our second largest current campaign.  But I expect the Iran campaign to overtake it in a day or two.  Followup emails sent a week after we do the initial mailing are important, and I always do them in English.  If the translators for our other large lists (French, German, Spanish) want to do the same, it might help get several hundred additional supporters for our campaigns.

Mailing lists:

We picked up 974 new subscribers this week following the launch of our Iran campaign. We’re now have 132,173 subscribers to our various lists.

Social networks:

Our Facebook page now has 10,021 likes. I’ve stopped paying for advertising and growth from today will be organic. That ad campaign cost us $95.29 and generated 583 new page likes.

Apps:

Our Android app in Norwegian is now nearly done — just a couple more tweaks and it will go live on Google Play. We’ll begin work on other languages, using this as the template.

Books:

The ILO office in Burma needed a Word version of our global labour movement book; this has been found and sent to them.

Jul
02
2015
--

Breakthrough in Europe, and more …

eescYesterday, thanks to the initiative of Silvana, I was invited to address the regular meeting of the Workers Group of the European Economic and Social Committee, a gathering of nearly 100 trade union leaders from all over Europe.  LabourStart was given 30 minutes on the agenda and we followed their adoption of a statement on Greece.  I spoke and showed a PowerPoint presentation (see it here as a PDF), and we distributed LabourStart flyers to all delegates.  There was a lively discussion, and some were quite familiar with our work and praised it.  Others were introduced to LabourStart for the first time and are keen to work with us, including the Lithuanian delegation.

Following the online campaigning course last week in Hattingen, Germany, we’ve heard from two participants — one from Malta who has begun translating our campaigns into Maltese, and one from the European Federation of Journalists who will be working with us on our next campaign.

Our Malaysia campaign continues to grow and is up to 6,459 supporters as of mid-day today.

Thanks to our ongoing ad campaign, we’re nearly up to 10,000 fans on Facebook — we have picked up 247 new fans in the last 8 days, and have just 110 to go.

We’ll be able to revive the Labour Video of the Year competition thanks to our ongoing partnership with the London Labour Film Festival, which takes place this year in September.  More details soon.

The ILO office in Burma has asked permission to translate our book on the Global Labour Movement into Burmese and publish it there.  We’ve agreed.

Finally, I visited this week with a London-based web design company which organized the recent Hack Day at Mozilla which had a trade union theme and at which we made a presentation.  They’re keep to help with with technological issues and have some very interesting ideas (and a wealth of experience).  We’re considering sharing office space with them, so this could be the beginning of a kind of partnership which could help us enormously.

 

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