Absence alert

LabourStart editor Eric Lee will be travelling (to Philadelphia, for the Democratic National Convention) from today and will return to London on 31 July.  He’ll have email the entire time he’s on the road, but people should refrain from contacting him except in urgent cases.  Thanks for understanding.

Translations backlog cleared – at last

LabourStart relies on a group of several dozen volunteer translators to ensure that our campaigns and mass mailings go out in a wide range of languages.  Many of those translators put the translated texts directly into our system, but some don’t or can’t, and send us emails with the content.

Sometimes, we (I) lag behind in getting those out — and in recent weeks, a real gap opened up.  We had a number of translations into German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Slovak and Turkish that were long overdue for publication.  That backlog has now finally been cleared, I’m happy to say.

I’ll try to keep pace in future, and this will be helped when we hire some staff later this summer.  Until then, any of our translators who’d like to learn how to post content themselves without emailing their translations to me, are welcome to ask for training.  Thanks for understanding — and for your patience.


foThe terrorist attack yesterday in Nice has so far triggered one trade union response that I could find on the web, here.

I imagine that as the day goes along, there will be more.

Please do help us find union statements condemning the attack, particularly from global and European federations.

And let’s post them to LabourStart as we’ve done in the past, all too many times, when this has happened before.

Small glitch in our campaigns software – now fixed

logo-mysql-170x115Last week I was having some difficulty uploading files to our server (based in Iceland) which hosts labourstartcampaigns.net.

Our provider changed our login details — but what I didn’t realize at the time was that this also affected every script (programme) on our campaigns website.

So some of you may have noticed one or two things not working, relating to our database of campaign supporters (for example, scripts showing how many supporters each campaign has).  This has now been fixed, and every script now has the correct login details.

Food workers in Turkey thank LabourStart for our recent campaign

The following is the text of an email message we received this week from Turkey.

Through your e-mail, we have been informed that campaign of the CP Chicken Workers has been completed and closed.

First of all, I would like to thank you and LabourStart family standing in solidarity with us. Although it had started much late than we suppose, we had a great opportunity to strengthen our struggle through this campaign. As you know, we are maintaining the struggle in the Labour Court and keeps on organizing workers at the company. In this sense, the campaign has also encouraged the fired workers who are still waiting for the result of Labour Court. Furthermore, with this campaign, we had an opportunity to discuss the struggle of CP workers with IUF. Now, we are working on a new international campaign at CP Chicken Company as well as reassembling our organizing campaigning. I would like to say that all these new steps have been sparked by the LabourStart campaign.

Your support and your solidarity always encourage us and strengthen our working class struggle in Turkey.

In Solidarity.
Comradely greetings.

Seyit Aslan
(Union of Food Industry Workers of Turkey)

Volunteer(s) needed: Help us write the story of our Toronto conference

Two months ago we held a very successful LabourStart Global Solidarity Conference in Toronto.  Since then, we’ve written an introductory text, and had a 16 minute video produced (soon to be released), but we need to write up a report on what happened at the conference.  If you were there, and would be willing to write text based on the conference programme which was posted online, we could speed up the production of a good report about this event.  Please email ericlee@labourstart.org if you can help.  Thanks.

Our next conference

LabourStart’s Global Solidarity Conference in Toronto in May was still going on when we began discussions about where and when to hold the next one.  We have nothing firm to report just yet, but a heads up to all of you: we are hoping to hold it around November 2017 in Hong Kong.  More details when we have them.

The state of our current campaigns: what the numbers tell us

Here are the number of supporters for each of our current campaigns, broken down by language:


(You may want to right-click on that image above and open it in a new tab to make it more legible.)

As you can see, we currently have 7 campaigns running, all of them launched during the last 3 months.  Only one of them, the Uzbekistan campaign, has gotten over 10,000 messages sent.  The second most successful campaign — and trailing far behind — is the Peru campaign, which over 7,500 messages sent.  All of the others lag significantly behind.

Some of this will be fixed as I complete some of the translations and mailings to our Spanish and German lists, which are quite large.  But we can expect a drop-off as we enter the summer months in the northern hemisphere.

We need to do some creative thinking about how we ramp up all our campaigns to be 10,000 supporters at least, and how we break our record, set nearly three years with this campaign, of almost 22,000 messages sent.