This is a joint campaign by the ITUC and at least three global union federations.
After one day online, it had only 23 supporters – let’s hope this picks up after the weekend.
LabourStart will, meanwhile, do what it can.
This is a now a requirement for websites that serve users who live in Europe.
You can see the same sort of thing on most big official websites, such as the BBC’s.
We’ll soon be implementing this for the LabourStart news site as well.
It’s ugly and intrusive but not including it is a breach of the law here in the UK.
Two things happened this week that show the way forward for LabourStart and that are genuinely heart-warming.
First, this from Australia: “At the recent National Union of Workers Officials’ Conference, we held a raffle to raise money for LabourStart. $1000 Australian was raised.”
And second, this tweet from the UK: “RMT-UK Annual General Meeting unanimously passed resolution of support for @LabourStart”. According to a senior LabourStart correspondent who was there, the resolution was proposed by the union’s Bakerloo branch, and was actively supported by its general secretary, Bob Crow. More details when we have them.
In the bad old days, we’ve have unions – including locals and branches – approaching LabourStart all the time, asking for campaigns. And to keep the numbers under control, we’d tell them that we only do global campaigns, we only focus on big, serious issues, and we only work with global union federations and the ITUC. That, we thought, would solve the problem. Oops.
Today we have three campaigns being launched at the request of the ITUC and global union federations, with possibly more on the way. As I launch them, I will update this page.
The following short draft is what I propose to put on the page where unions request campaigns. In filling in the form, they agree to be bound by what is written here. It won’t necessarily solve any problems, but it will at least make things clearer.
LabourStart’s ActNOW campaigns are a partnership between LabourStart and the union requesting the campaign. That means that each of us agrees to do certain things.
What LabourStart will do:
Upon receipt of a request for a campaign, LabourStart’s senior correspondents will discuss it among themselves and consult with the international trade union movement (including the global union federations – GUFs) if necessary. Campaigns proposed by national or local unions will almost always require — and benefit from — the approval of global union institutions. If a union is a member of a GUF, it is always best to approach them first and have the GUF propose the campaign.
LabourStart will setup the campaign in English (and retains the right to make changes to the proposed texts), arrange for its translation into a number of languages, and promote it to our mailing lists, via our website (including syndication through our newswires) and through social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and UnionBook. While the campaign is running, we will offer the union real-time reporting on support being shown, showing the names, unions and countries of those who signed up. We will run the campaign for three months, unless we are asked to close it down sooner.
Unions requesting a campaign from LabourStart are expected to do the following:
When proposing the campaign we will need a header, background text and default message; the union’s full name, logo and a description; a working link to a web page for more information; accurate and tested addresses for the target of the campaign; and photos to illustrate the campaign.
Once the campaign has launched, the union will do its utmost to promote the campaign to its own members, to other unions in its country, and to the global labour movement through any federations (such as GUFs or the ITUC) to which it might belong. Global unions will be expected to promote the campaign to their national affiliates. Promotion will not consist solely of a link on the union’s website, though this is obviously required. In addition, the union must use other tools such as email, social media and even offline methods to get the word out. The union must keep LabourStart updated, ideally by having a volunteer correspondent regularly posting news which we will link to the campaign.
After three months, the campaign will close unless a decision has been made to close it sooner. At that time the union will provide a report which we may circulate to supporters telling them what the effect of the campaign has been — not only whether the employer or government has conceded, but also whether the union members themselves were made aware of the international support shown to them and whether this boosted their morale.
LabourStart campaigns are offered free of charge.
If any of this is not clear, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
OK, so not weekly. But I was in Copenhagen for three days last week attending the founding congress of IndustriALL global union, so that’s why I’m late with this roundup of some recent news.
Social Media: I began using SocialBro to increase our visibility on Twitter (see note below). We’ve gone up from 6,414 to 6,642 followers since the beginning of this month – a growth of about 10 per day. (We picked up 44 in one day thanks to a mention in one of our mailings.) At this rate, we’ll reach 8,500 followers by the end of this year. On Facebook, our Page – www.facebook.com/labourstart.org - is rapidly approaching the size of our Group, as we had hoped. The Page has 4,627 ‘likes’ while the Group has 4,771 ‘members’. As you may recall, there are certain advantages to the Page, which we built long after the Group was launched. At the very end of March last year, we started our Page (with zero followers) and we had 4,332 members of the LabourStart Group. So you can see that all the growth is taking place in recruiting new fans or followers for the Page, which has been growing at the rate of about 10 per day, just like Twitter.
Campaigns: I posted something about campaigns that have zero followers earlier this month and had several interesting responses (see below). Two new campaigns were launched this week, one for the ITF and one for IndustriALL; ten days ago we launched our Li Wangyang campaign which is now over 5,700 messages sent. Two campaigns are closing this weekend – Mexico and Colombia. I fixed character encoding issues in the news iframe that appears on campaign pages. I also fixed the script that shows supporters for a campaign so that it doesn’t update the overall numbers (this made it look like campaign numbers went up and down throughout the day). I fixed the mycampaigns script (which shows you which campaigns you have participated in) so it works with the new system and with different languages, again. I’ve been having a discussion with our volunteer translators for Turkish; we now may have a solution that ensures timely translations of both campaigns and mailings, which is very important now that we have 1,244 Turkish addresses (up from 778 since the beginning of the year – a gain of 466, up more than 37%).
Mailing lists: There’s now a prominent link on our home page in English to sign up to the mailing list (this had disappeared for a while, though we have it for other languages) – and I removed all traces I could find of links to join any of our earlier mailing lists. The total size of the lists is 98,356.
Writing: I had an article published in In These Times (about the launch of IndustriALL). I’ll be doing another tomorrow for Solidarity. I approached a number of other publications about writing on the same subject — Red Pepper, Progress and the Big Issue — but none of them responded.
Donations: The only big donation in the last couple of weeks came from LO Norway, which gave NOK 30,000 (£3,200). We’ve raised over £9,000 since the beginning of April, with another £6,400 in our Canadian account. (Derek can give a breakdown of which Canadian unions have made substantial donations or pledges.) This is pretty much equal to what we had raised last year by this time.
I have just returned from Copenhagen, from the founding congress of IndustriALL Global Union, the merger of IMF, ICEM, and ITGLWF that unites 50 million workers in a single federation.
IndustriALL’s first campaign, announced from the podium by its new general secretary, is this one – on LabourStart.
This looks interesting. I’m testing it now. We currently have 6,504 followers on Twitter, but we’re not maximizing the power of this network.
Here’s what I did today:
Stopped following hundreds of Twitter accounts who don’t follow us.
Started following popular Tweeters who do follow us – everyone with more than 1,000 followers, we now follow.
Sent Direct Messages to 20 Tweeters with over 8,800 followers each asking them to re-tweet our message:
Who killed Li Wangyang? http://bit.ly/KUpfiS