Jun
09
2017
1

Annual fundraising drive takes off; new campaign launched in support of Indonesian miners

Fundraising: One week into our annual fundraising drive and results have been good. We took in nearly £8,000 in 8 days.  Thanks to everyone who has donated and who has helped to raise money so far.

Campaigns: We launched a new campaign in support of Indonesian miners, at the request of IndustriALL. Over 3,000 of them signed up the campaign even before we began publicity. This promises to be quite a big one. We did the weekly review of translations of campaigns and mailings into the major languages, and found that we were missing translations in three of our key languages. We followed up with translators, but so far with no results.

Books: We sent out another dozen copies of our book on migrant worker organising to progressive publications, mostly in the USA. Amazon subsidiary CreateSpace is now looking into why we have not been getting their payments.

Conference: We received a detailed answer from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and will be discussing this.

Mailing list: We added 180 new subscribers – 124 of those to the English list. This does not include new supporters from the Indonesia campaign (see above).

Jun
05
2017
0

LabourStart in Numbers – March-May 2017

Some highlights:

Most mailing lists stayed more or less the same size this quarter, as the number of new subscribers due to campaigns matched the number deleted automatically from the lists due to bad addresses.

On Facebook, we saw significant growth of our group (381 new members), our new UK page picked up 516 new followers, and our revived Turkish page grew by 27% (49 new likes). On Twitter, our biggest growth was 315 more followers for our Canada (English) account and 449 for our global English account.

Traffic to the main website shrunk slightly, with a surprising number of visits (3,232) to our Delhi (India) page.  And no, I cannot explain that either.

In the list below, the first number is the current total, the second one is our previous total.  I have marked in blue where we have seen growth.

Mailing lists

English: 86,489 – 86,871
French: 9,051 – 9,032
German: 6,274 – 6,252
Spanish: 5,525 – 5,527
Turkish: 4,262 – 4,248
Korean: 3,995 – 4,171
Italian: 3,947 – 3,983
Norwegian: 2,755 – 2,772
Russian: 2,579 – 2,564
Dutch: 1,696 – 1,707
Swedish: 1,243 – 1,243
Chinese: 1,086 – 1,077
Portuguese: 869 – 848
Polish: 798 – 798
Finnish: 643 – 643
Arabic: 496 – 509
Japanese: 493 – 518
Indonesian: 335 – 346
Hebrew: 279 – 280
Farsi: 232 – 232
Tagalog: 227 – 254
Esperanto: 172 – 155
Hungarian: 164 – 149
Ukrainian: 142 – 138
Danish: 100 – 102
Czech: 82 – 81
Thai: 67 – 67
Greek: 58 – 58
Romanian: 41 – 41
Hindi: 37 – 41
Vietnamese: 25 – 13
Slovakian: 20 – 20
Bulgarian: 18 – 18
Creole: 12- 12
Sinhalese: 1 – 1

Facebook:

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 12,208 – 12,112
Members of LabourStart group (Global Labour News and Information): 8,797 – 8,416
Friends of LabourStart Brasil: 3,406 – 3,232 [could not update this time]
Like LabourStart page (French): 564 – 553
Like LabourStart UK page: 516
Like LabourStart page (German): 491 – 485
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 230 – 181
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 158 – 158
Members of LabourStart Vostok (Russian): 108 – 90

Twitter

English: 17,678 – 17,229
Canada English: 6,953 – 6,638
Canada French: 1,780 – 1,726
USA: 677 – 662
Italian: 524 – 492
Swedish: 372 – 376
Indonesia: 367 – 366
Portuguese: 253 – 223
French: 230 – 230
German: 94 – 94
Spanish: 69 – 70
Japanese: 21 – 21
Russian: 19 – 18

Website traffic

LabourStart.org (news)

Unique users 35,345 – 42,120

Top countries (by sessions):

USA 22% – 20%
Canada 15% – 15%
UK 11% – 16%
India 8% – 5%
Australia 5% – 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 26,088 – 26,770
USA – English 7,655 – 7,630
Canada – English 5,146 – 5,354
India 4,710 – 5,097
India – Delhi 3,232

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users 33,249 – 43,979

Top countries (by sessions):

UK 14% – 18%
USA 14% – 13%
Canada 9% – 11%
Germany 7% – 7%
Spain – 6%

Most popular pages – page views:

The number in brackets is the total number of those who have signed up to support the campaign.

Turkey: 14 union leaders face prison 13,161 [10,329]
Iran: Esmail Abdi on hunger strike 8,125 [6,868]
Kazakhstan: Stop repression, start dialogue with workers 8,069 [8,099]
Stand with Rajendra – demand action on chrysotile asbestos now 7,156 [7,001]
Madagascar: Dock workers sacked for joining a union 5,599 [6,922]

Linked In

LabourStart group: 2,051 – 2,052

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 827 – 825

Website

Correspondents: 864 – 856

Jun
03
2017
0

New campaign launched – Esmail Abdi on hunger strike

New campaign – Esmail Abdi – hunger strike:
This campaign went live about a week ago is already doing well, with over 6,000 supporters, and was translated into a dozen languages.
I sent out a reminder to the 71,354 people on our English list who didn’t open the message sent out a week ago.

Campaigns in the pipeline:
We are in discussions with a Canadian union on a major campaign.
UGT Spain is talking with us about a campaign focussing on workers facing jail.
A US union has also asked for a possible campaign with a long-running dispute.
We were given a campaign by a union in Turkey last week but have been asked to hold off on this for a bit.

Mailing lists:
We picked up 317 new subscribers, nearly all of those for the English list.

Fundraising drive:
We did the annual fundraising drive, which raised £2,500 in the first 48 hours. The mailing is translated into a number of languages – but some key ones still remain.

New correspondents:
We have new correspondents in Iran and the Netherlands.

Books:
We’ve now sent out review copies of our migrant workers book to 33 publications — I hope this will generate some reviews and raise awareness of the book.
We continue to have problems with CreateSpace, the Amazon subsidiary that prints and sells the books, and have continued complaining and demanding that they sort out the payments which are owed to us. They are currently looking into what the problem is.

New LabourStart flyer:
A new LabourStart brochure is in the works, our first since 2014. The English version should be ready in a few days.

Privacy issue – resolved:
After repeated requests to Google to re-crawl our site, they have finally done so. As a result, people searching for their own email addresses on Google should not find them listed on an internal LabourStart campaign, as was the case for a few weeks.

LinkedIn:
From what I can tell, we are no longer able to mail to our group on LinkedIn, which is a pity.

Publicity on social media:
Publicised China Labor Watch statement on Ivanka Trump on Facebook and Twitter.
Promoted the ITUC statement on the new South Korean president.
Publicised our extensive coverage of the Histadrut election in Israel.

May
26
2017
1

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.

Campaigns:
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.

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.

Apr
07
2017
0

Weekly roundup: Asbestos campaign, Facebook UK, site redesign, and more

Campaigns: We launched three new ones – on asbestos (a global campaign), Madagascar, and Kazakhstan. Only the first has gone live with full publicity and translations as there are some issues still to be resolved with the latter two; we’ve gotten over 2,600 messages sent since yesterday evening in support of the asbestos ban. I closed a UK-only campaign launched on behalf of BFAWU (the bakers) — I’m pleased to report that we won this. The previous Kazakhstan campaign was also closed this week.

Mailing list: Without a new campaign, the list barely grows — we picked up just 78 new subscribers this week, most of them for the French list. Matt and Mark in Berlin have offered to join the team posting messages, so our German language mailings should go out quicker.

News: We added one new correspondent from Yemen and one from Brazil.

UK: We’ve set up a LabourStart UK Facebook page and will start promoting it next week; Warren is helping by posting news stories to it. After getting a few complaints about the mailing we did last week in support of Ruskin College, I received a clarification from the person who asked us to do it and shared that with everyone who wrote in.

Website redesign: I followed up with a London-based worker coop which has offered to help us with this; we’ll probably meet up in May to discuss next steps.

Outreach: I reached out to a major Irish trade and we had a phone call to discuss ways we can help them and work together. I also had a long conversation with a US based campaigning group and we’re looking for ways we can work together.

Social media: We used Facebook and Twitter this week to highlight a number of important issues including the ITUC’s condemnation of Assad’s chemical attack on his own people, a call for a global ban on modern slavery, and an expose of the use of North Korean slaves in Russia — all this in addition to ongoing Facebook posts and tweets which Derek has been coordinating.

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