The International Department of the AFL-CIO in Washington has asked for our help with this one. It’s an important campaign and I hope that we can grow it into a very large one.
The Canadian postal workers campaign is now closed. It received a total of 13,821 messages sent – here’s a breakdown by language:
- English 11,955 (9,053 from Canada; 2,902 from elsewhere)
- French 1,567 (1,317 from Canada; 250 from elsewhere)
- Norwegian 161
- Spanish 92
- German 46
Here’s what the union had to say to us:
It looks as though the NDP, the social democratic party and official opposition, may be fairly effective in delaying the back-to-work legislation. This gives a bit more life to the campaign – it may still be live early next week.
This is an important campaign not just for the union involved, but for LabourStart’s reputation in Canada (very good now I should say) and it has already added several thousand new addresses to our mailing lists.
Please push this in any way you can. Especially with any contacts you might have with transportation/communications/post office unions in Latin America (where this union is well-known).
To date Facebook has proven quite effective. Give it a try if you have an account, try posting links and explanatory text on union pages/groups or even on the walls of individuals with lots of union ‘friends’.
First of all, my goal of 10,000 messages in the Canada Post campaign by the weekend turned out to be not ambitious enough. It’s only Thursday and we already have 11,213 messages sent. Unfortunately, the Colombia Vale campaign launched the same day, has received only one-fifth as many supporters – 2,455. Which raises some questions in my mind about how we go about building the global campaigning capacity of the international trade union movement. I intend to address these in a column I’ll be writing later today for Solidarity, a British weekly.
Conference registrations are not exactly flooding in — but at least today I’ve sorted out some error processing. If you try to sign up without giving your name, or an email address, or a country (e.g., you leave ‘Select a country’ as your choice), you’ll be prompted to fix these. You might think, who would register without giving such basic details, but a significant percentage of those who fill in the form leave out their name, country and email – which are the basic things we need.
Finally, a £500 donation from a union in New Zealand has pushed us very close to the £20,000 mark in this year’s May Day fundraising campaign. This is great news, but we can do better — and I’ll be following up today with 6 unions which last year donated a total of £7,000. While the amount of money coming in is nearly double what we raised last year, and that’s great, this is nothing as compared to what other groups manage to raise. We can do so much better if we try.
- We’re around 500 people short of our goal of 10,000 supporters for this campaign – we’ll do another push this afternoon.
- A prominent Facebook ‘like’ button now appears on top of every campaign page. Please click on it.
- Later today, I have a phone call scheduled with the AFL-CIO international department to discuss a major campaign we may need to do in defense of Georgian trade unions.
- The review (overhaul) of our website that was due to appear in .net magazine did not appear yesterday – but the editor has assured me that it will appear in next month’s issue and apologized.
- Now we have a correct link on every language page in LabourStart that allows you to sign up to our list in that specific language.
- We’ve fixed the Turkish title of our conference and added a registration page in Turkish to the site.
- I’ve completed the task of writing individual, personalized messages to every national trade union center within 1,000 km of Istanbul (that’s 20 countries).
- We now have an online page that shows who has registered for our conference – email me if you’d like to see it and I’ll send you the URL.
This is shaping up to be the biggest campaign we’ve ever run — and we’ve only just scratched the surface.
As I write these words, we’re at 7,463 9,184 messages sent.
But we can easily reach the figure of 10,000 and if we’re any good at this campaigning thing, much more than that.
Keep these numbers in mind:
- CUPW – the union whose very existence is being threatened – has 54,000 members, and that’s not counting family members.
- The Canadian Labour Congress represents 3,200,000 members
- UNI Global Union’s Post and Logistics Sector represents 2,500,000 postal workers in 157 unions
- Britain’s Communication Workers Union alone represents 210,000 workers, many of them employed by the Royal Mail
- The US’s National Association of Letter Carriers has 300,000 members
- The American Postal Workers Union, also in the USA, has 330,000 members
- 90% of the people on LabourStart’s mailing lists – another 63,000 trade unionists – have not yet signed up to this campaign
So let’s be ambitious — the sky’s the limit!