If we look at LabourStart’s ActNOW campaigns, I’d guess we’d find the following: campaigns that focus on extreme violations of workers’ rights (such as arrests and killings) attract far more support than those which build support for more ordinary disputes.
Now let’s look at the current active campaigns to see if this is actually true:
Jailings of trade unionists
India: Over 500 workers jailed in dispute with Foxconn – 4,368 supporters in 6 days (728/day)
Colombia: Free jailed university lecturer and trade unionist – 1,796 supporters in 14 days (128/day)
Vietnam: Labour rights advocates face prison – 1,326 supporters in 1 day (1,326/day)
Sacking of trade unionists
Turkey: Support sacked UPS workers – 3,137 supporters in 2 months and 24 days (37/day)
Mexico: Reinstate sacked workers, recognize union, and drop all charges – 2,048 supporters in 2 months and 22 days (24/day)
Cambodia: Reinstate sacked construction workers – 2,015 supporters in 2 months and 2 days (32/day)
Other repressive measures
Iraq: Minister closes all union offices in Saddam-style move – 3,575 in 3 months (40/day)
None of the above
Thailand: Migrant workers have the right to workers’ compensation – 1,788 supporters in 9 days (199/day)
Some quick thoughts on what might be happening:
- Campaigns on Colombia and Iraq seem to occur fairly frequently and on the same themes, which might result in campaign fatigue.
- The Turkey campaign might have done well in part because of the support of the ITF, with whom we’ve always had a good partnership on campaigns.
- In general, campaigns about sacked workers barely go over the 2,000 mark, even after months online.
- The publicity for all the campaigns above was essentially the same — though the Colombia and Thailand ones were publicized together which may have resulted in a smaller number of participants for both.