A relatively quiet fortnight

As I was travelling for eight of the last fourteen days, this will be a relatively short summary of the last fortnight at LabourStart.

We closed the long-running campaign in support of jailed teacher trade unionist Esmail Abdi in Iran — but opened a new one at the request of hte Education International due to his hunger strike.
We added a text to our closed Nigerian dockers’ campaign from the ITF.
We are now completely caught up with translations of campaigns and mailings in our 8 largest languages.

Next conference: We’ve followed up with our comrades in Hong Kong.

Mailing lists: We added just 98 new names — this number is low due to the fact that we launched no new campaigns in this period.

Social media: We gave our Turkish Facebook page, which is being revived, a boost with a mailing to our Turkish language list, picking up 21 new likes.

Finances: UNISON (UK) has donated £1,000.

Site security: We did a thorough review following the massive ransomware attacks earlier this month. We’ve improved our backups, which are now comprehensive and done regularly. Our web hosting company allows us to do a malware test, which we ran, and which showed no security issues.

Books: We’ve begun sending out review copies of our book on migrant workers’ struggles — the goal is to send out about 100 copies. If you know of any publications that should receive one, please do let me know.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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