Tunis, apps, publications, survey, Italy, course, Brazil, and more – another week on LabourStart

I’ve decided to post weekly reports on what’s going on at LabourStart — please feel free to share these with colleagues and friends.  2015 is going to be one our busiest years ever — and here’s the first week …

Retreat – Tunis: We’re moving on this; I’ve sent the necessary letters regarding hotels and meeting space to our friends in the UGTT in Tunisia.  More on this next week.

Apps:

We’re using two different app-building platforms each of which has drawbacks.  Como builds both for Android and iOS, but it handles RSS feeds badly (it takes two clicks, not one, to show a news story.)  I’ve written to them to get help on this.

Meanwhile, Andromo which is better (and has improved at my suggestion how they cache RSS feeds, because at the moment they show our closed campaigns) unfortunately only works in Android.  This is what is holding up the release of our iOS app (approved by the Apple store, but I’m not satisfied with how it works) and our apps in other languages.

Meanwhile, our Android app has been published in the Amazon store, so users of Amazon’s devices (Kindle, Firephone, etc) can use it; also, users of Blackberries can get their version of the app there.

Publications: We’ll probably begin work on the 2016 Global Labour Calendar this coming week.  Anyone who’s willing to help is invited to post comments below.  We’re also working on two books we’re committed to getting out this year — one on migrant workers, and one with papers and speeches from our Berlin conference last May (long delayed, I know).  (Thanks to Derek for helping on this.)

Survey of trade union use the net: I’ve suggested we consider doing this again; so far, three people have volunteered to help, so next week we’ll probably start work on this again.  (Thanks to Derek, David and Gerhard.)

Italian LabourStart: We now have a Twitter feed and and an email address, and a group of committed correspondents and translators.   The Italian mailing list is our fourth-largest with over 4,000 addresses, and we’re keen to grow it and to be more useful to the Italian unions.  (Thanks Silvana and Andrea.)

Guidelines for new correspondents: This has now been translated into Spanish.  (Thanks David).

Survey of LabourStart correspondents: I’ll make the results available in a few days, but one result is clear: most people do want a discussion forum.  I’ve looked into a couple of the better known options, but will be asking for volunteers to help with this project.  (Thanks to Gisela for doing the survey.)

Online campaigns course: I’ve begun planning for a meeting in Brussels later this month with the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) which has agreed to hold a 3-day course in Germany for European trade unionists.

Brazil project: As you may know, we have received a grant to do some work building LabourStart in Brazil.  I’ve started writing to our contacts there.

LabourStart in Numbers: I’ve done the last monthly report; from now on, this will be done every quarter.

 

 

Fourth survey of trade union use of the net

We’ve done three annual  surveys of trade union use of the net; the most recent one in early 2013.  (Here’s the report.)

These surveys have gotten fairly significant numbers of participants – 2,746 last time (+377 more in French); 2,605 in 2012 (+349 in French); and 1,336 in 2011 (Survey was done only in English then).

Should we do on in 2015?

And would one of you be willing to volunteer to craft the survey, arrange the translations (ideally not only French this time) and produce a short report on the results?  I’m happy to help with the technical side and publicity.

Please reply using the comments below so that everyone can see any discussion that takes place.

Thanks!

 

LabourStart in Numbers – December 2014

The next report will appear on April 1st as this will from now on be a quarterly report, not monthly.

Mailing lists with 200 or more subscribers – the second number is from the previous month

English: 85,230 – 85,619
French: 8,202 – 8,186
German: 5,568 – 5,524
Spanish: 5,414 – 5,355
Italian: 4,088 – 4,085
Turkish: 3,668 – 3,614
Korean: 3,080 – 3,080
Norwegian: 2,801 – 2,813
Russian: 2,466 – 2,466
Dutch: 1,695 – 1,687
Chinese: 1,106 – 1,106
Polish: 752 – 752
Finnish: 687 – 687
Japanese: 483 – 483
Arabic: 463 – 463
Portuguese: 353 – 353
Indonesian: 344 – 344
Hebrew: 270 – 271
Tagalog: 254 – 254
Farsi: 242 – 242
Swedish: 236 – 205

Other ways to count …

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 13,646 – 13,479
Canada English: 3,800 – 3,725
Canada French: 624 – 619
USA: 442 – 430
French: 218 – 217
Indonesia: 179 – 150
Spanish: 73 – 73
German: 71 – 70
Japanese: 22 – 22
Russian: 18 – 18
Italian: 14 (new account)
Portuguese: 7 – 7

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 9,112 – 9,019
Members of LabourStart group: 8,258 – 8,205
Like LabourStart page (French): 463 – 458
Like LabourStart page (German): 391 – 392
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 144 – 144
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 112 – 112

UnionBook

Members: 5,846 – 5,842

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,835 – 1,815

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 786 – 787

Website

Correspondents: 762 – 759

For December 2014  – Please note that in some cases, counting did not begin on the 1st of the month, so the numbers will not be complete. Also, December is a notoriously weak month, with many people no longer in school or at work for the last third or more of the month.

LabourStart.org (news)

Unique users – 7,869

Top countries (by sessions):
USA 26%
Australia 20%
Canada 10%
India 6%
UK 6%

Most popular pages (% of pageviews):
Home page – English 42%
USA – English 11%
Canada – English 5%
India – 4%
UK – English 2%

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users – 10,810

Top countries (by sessions):
UK 16%
USA 11%
Canada 10%
Germany 7%
Spain 6%

Most popular pages (% of pageviews):
Colombia: Free Huber Ballesteros – 37%
World Intellectual Property Organization fires staff union president – 8%
Peru: Attack on trade union rights on eve of climate change summit – 8%
Wizz Air: Stop union-busting now! – 7%
Freiheit für Huber Ballesteros! – 5%

The month in review – December 2014

Next generation LabourStart

The number of users of our Android app in English, launched on 11 November, has grown to 587 (gained only 25 new users in December); the average reviewer gave it 4.88 stars. Our Android app in Esperanto, launched on 26 November, has been installed 17 times.

Our iOS app (for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) has just been approved by the Apple App store (we submitted it on 3 December at first) and will be launched in the next two days. This app was designed in Como, which we can use to create apps for both Android and iOS, and will do so.

We have received the translation for the Norwegian version of our apps and expect this go live shortly.

Tunis Retreat

We’ll have more to report on this throughout January.

A reminder was sent to all correspondents to respond to the pre-retreat survey; so far we’ve had 58 responses and will provide a full report soon.

Campaigns

We launched only two campaigns in December and closed one of them fairly quickly at the request of the union – these were the ones surrounding the jailing of Colombian union leader Huber Ballesteros, and the other concerned Luis Isarra in Peru. The Peru campaign has generated only 5,634 messages of protest so far, while the Colombia campaign generated 7,450.

We closed three campaigns in December — Deva in Turkey, USA IKEA and the Colombia industrial accident campaign, which resulted in a big win.

At the moment, we are running only four active campaigns — and three of those will close within the next four weeks.

A trade union leader in Bangladesh has offered to translate our campaigns into Bengali; I have sent him the framework file to translate.

We launched our first Romanian language campaign, and mailing list.

Online campaigning course

The European Trade Union Institute has approved our proposal for a 3-day course on the subject of online campaigning, to be held in Germany in June. More details soon.

Books

Our latest book, Dan Gallin’s Solidarity, is being translated into Russian by Masha.

I’ve signed a contract with Professor Joe Atkins for a LabourStart book due to appear at the end of 2015 about migrant workers. More details coming soon.

Finances

We received a generous donation from the Education International.

I wrote to all correspondents about the annual Svennsson prize which could be major boost to LabourStart if we ever win it.

Fairphone

We ran a mini-campaign to raise the issue of workers’ rights at Fairphone, which briefly got a lot of attention and a phone call from the company.

Tweaks

We learned (from Mahesh) that there was a problem with our code that allowed people to tweet any news story that appeared on LabourStart — if there was an apostrophe in the story title, it didn’t work. This has now been fixed.

I also fixed the drop down menu showing country names on the French language home page, and a couple of other small fixes to the page.

Two campaigns closed, two big wins, and a new campaign launched today

In the last couple of days we’ve closed down two of our campaigns — and one of them was a big win for the union.  Today we launched a new campaign — or more correctly, a new version of a campaign we’ve done before.  And finally, we helped the IUF with one of the shortest campaigns they (or we) have ever run, resulting in a big win.

The campaigns we closed today are:

USA: IKEA must raise pay, offer full-time jobs which had 4,193 supporters. We asked the UFCW what the result of the campaign but haven’t yet heard back.

Colombia: Desperate fight for recognition of workplace accident This was a big win. Here is what IndustriALL told us:

“With sense of relieve and satisfaction we announce that Ruben Montoya had received his pension and has reached a financial settlement with Tenaris. Ruben Montoya is a worker who suffered a workplace accident 12 years ago that was never recognized by the company; who declared a hunger strike almost a year ago and attempted suicide twice asking for the pension that he has finally received. The persistence and courage of Reuben, the accompaniment and mobilization of SINTRATUCAR and the international support made it possible to reach a solution to this problem. From the Tenaris Workers’ World Council we sincerely appreciate the participation of all in this campaign and we hope that Rubén will receive medical treatment needed and have the deserved tranquility to recover from such a tragic event. The last meeting of the Tenaris Workers’ World Council approved several actions in support of Rubén. Those actions are no longer necessary.”

Today we launched a new campaign in defense of Huber Ballesteros– launched last week, on the eve of Human Rights Day, at the request of UNISON. We did a version of this same campaign a year ago, but as Huber’s case is still unresolved, we’ve been asked to do this again.

Finally, we also did some publicity last week for the IUF campaign demanding the release of jailed trade unionists in Hong Kong; our efforts and those of others helped secure their early release.

Trade union rights campaign that links to climate change

2594This is an interesting one — a campaign given to us by Public Services International (PSI) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

It concerns a trade union leader in Peru (Luis Isarra, pictured left) who is being punished for his role fighting against water privatisation on the very eve of the UN Climate Change conference to be held in Lima next week.

This campaign could resonate with both our traditional trade union audience and climate change campaigners.

Please spread the word:

http://www.labourstart.org/go/cop20

LabourStart in Numbers – November 2014

With only one new campaign launched in November – and that at the very end of the month – we’re not seeing big changes to our mailing lists.

This month, however, we can welcome Swedish to the list as it now has over 200 subscribers.

We’ve also seen very good growth to our Twitter feeds — with a spectacular increase to our small Indonesian feed.

Mailing lists with 200 or more subscribers – the second number is from the previous month

English: 85,619 – 85,672
French: 8,186 – 8,166
German: 5,524 – 5,503
Spanish: 5,355 – 5,328
Italian: 4,085 – 4,097
Turkish: 3,614 – 3,579
Korean: 3,080 – 3,080
Norwegian: 2,813 – 2,804
Russian: 2,466 – 2,468
Dutch: 1,687 – 1,675
Chinese: 1,106 – 1,106
Polish: 752 – 752
Finnish: 687 – 687
Japanese: 483 – 483
Arabic: 463 – 463
Portuguese: 353 – 353
Indonesian: 344 – 343
Hebrew: 271 – 266
Tagalog: 254 – 254
Farsi: 242 -242
Swedish: 205

Other ways to count …

As there was no comprehensive report last month, the second numbers here are from two months ago.

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 13,479 – 13,125
Canada English: 3,725 – 3,511
Canada French: 619 – 571
USA: 430 – 405
French: 217 – 214
Indonesia: 150 – 99
Spanish: 73 – 74
German: 70 – 69
Japanese: 22 -22
Russian: 18 – 18
Portuguese: 7 – 7

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 9,019 – 8,891
Members of LabourStart group: 8,205 – 8,111
Like LabourStart page (French): 458 – 450
Like LabourStart page (German): 392 – 376
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 144 – 141
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 112 – 111

UnionBook

Members: 5,842 – 5,820

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,815 – 1,764

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 787 – 785

Website

Correspondents: 759 – 746

There is no report on website traffic this month as I’m not sure Click is correctly counting visits.

The month in review – November 2014

It’s been a very busy month for us at LabourStart, with progress made on several important fronts.

Next generation LabourStart

androidOur Android app was finally launched on 11 November, 19 days ago, and has over 550 active users at the moment. Nearly all the reviewers have given it five stars in the Google Play store, and all the written reviews have been positive. We’ve been answering comments and noting suggestions for improvement.

We have also launched (today) an Android app in Esperanto, and next week will launch the Norwegian version. We’ll be approaching translators for the major languages (French, German, etc) in the next few days.

We’ve purchased an annual subscription to use Como, which will allow us to quickly create apps for iOS as well as Android and we hope to have the iOS version of our app available soon.

If you’ve not yet downloaded the app for your Android phone, please do so today: English / Esperanto

Retreat in Tunis – 20-23 March 2015

The first 20 people have been invited to attend.

We’ve finalized a survey for all LabourStart correspondents. This should go out next week.

We held a Skype conference call with organizers from North America, Europe and Australia to discuss this.  And Eric and Gisela have had a couple of separate Skype calls as well to discuss.

Campaigns

stopwizzWe launched only one new campaign in November — in support of Wizz Air workers trying to have a trade union. After just four days it has 7,200 supporters and has already been translated into 14 languages.  If you’ve not yet done so, please sign up to the campaign and spread the word in your union.

We did a big second round of publicity for our Deva (Turkey) campaign, and have boosted it to more than 10,000 supporters.

We closed the following four campaigns (details in posts below): Thailand – Andy Hall, Poland – LOT, Netherlands/Belgium – IKEA, Israel/Palestine – Zarfati Garage.

We discussed doing a campaign in support of Palestinian public sector workers with PSI, but nothing came of it.

We supported the IUF campaign on McDonald’s Korea with a mass mailing.  With our help, that campaign is now up to 8,800 supporters.

We have been asked to help with campaigns in Georgia, Nepal and Iran — waiting for our partners at the moment.

Internationalization

Swedish: Espen and I visited Stockholm – see the full report below. There are now a number of recent Swedish language news stories on the site, and we continue discussions with Swedish unions.  All our campaigns and mailings are now being translated into Swedish.

Italian: We’ve revived our Italian language campaigns and mass mailings — after a gap of three months — and launched three of these in November.  We have around 30 volunteer translators at the moment, which is fantastic.

Finnish: One of our new correspondents in Finland has agreed to coordinate efforts there, so he’s been given the contact details for the other seven.

Esperanto: We’ve also resumed sending out mailings and translating campaigns in Esperanto after a long gap; our list there is now nearly 100 subscribers.

Radio Labour

We continue to work together. In addition to having a Radio Labour page in the app, we now feature the latest Radio Labour broadcast on our home page in English, just under the top news stories.

Today in Labour History

While the database in French is comprehensive, we’re still missing data in English for many days — can anyone help with this?

Starting in January, we’ll begin work on a printed 2016 calendar which we’ll want ready for sale by Labo(u)r Day in North America.

Online campaigning course

We’ve submitted a proposal to the European Trade Union Institute, at their request, for a 3-day course for European Trade Unionists which will take place some time in 2015. More details soon.

Five campaigns!

One new campaign, one coming up, and three closed — it’s been a busy week!

Yesterday we launched a new campaign in support of the workers trying to form a union at Wizz Air, at the request of the European Transport Workers’ Federation and the European Trade Union Confederation.

Soon, we will be launching a campaign in support of striking Georgian railway workers.

Today we’re closing the Andy Hall campaign which has resulted in a partial victory.  Here’s what the campaign sponsor, Owen Tudor of the British Trades Union Congress, has to say:

The campaign helped keep his case in the public eye and on the diplomatic agenda. Thanks to the support and high profile Andy has got, the EU embassies in Thailand have begun to press the Thai government to take steps to stop their courts being used to harass human rights defenders like Andy. And together with other campaigns run on other websites resulted in the Judge throwing out the first case against him and delaying the second case for several weeks. However, that case hasn’t been stopped, and there are other cases that will start soon, so the campaign will continue in other ways. So we may be back….

Last week we closed two campaigns.

The first, opposing ‘social dumping’ by IKEA in Belgium and the Netherlands, got 10,672 supporters, making it one of our largest campaigns.  But we don’t know yet what the effect was, as the union hasn’t gotten back to us.

The second protested union busting at Poland’s LOT airlines.  It got 8,586 supporters and we have a report from Kemal Ulker at the International Transport Workers Federation on its effect on the ground — the bottom line is that we’ve not yet won this dispute:

On 25 July 2014, the vice-president of the ZZPP, Andrzej Je?ewski was dismissed by LOT Polish Airlines.

LOT has a bad record of similar anti-union practices. Over the last five years, the airline dismissed eight trade union leaders.

The ETF Civil Aviation Secretary tried to talk the CEO of the airline with no avail.

On 4 August 2014, the ITF and ETF section secretaries sent a joint letter to the CEO, demanding the reinstatement of the dismissed union leader.

On 20 August 2014, in partnership with the LabourStart, the ITF and ETF launched the protest letter campaign.

On 21 August 2014, the ITF and ETF general secretaries set a joint letter to the President of Poland.

On 25 August 2014, the ETF sent a letter to the chief executive of the Association of European Airlines (AEA), Athar Husain Khan, to ask him to intervene with the management of LOT to establish good and fair industrial relations with the trade unions.

Similar letters have been sent to 47 European Parliament members, reminding them of the role of trade unions in regaining freedom and sovereignty, as well as the country’s obligations as signatory of ILO conventions, and asking them intervene with the Polish government to resolve the issue: http://www.itfglobal.org/news-online/index.cfm/newsdetail/10835

On 1 September 2014, the ZZPP received a response from Grazyna Wereszczynska, Director of Citizen Letters and Opinions Office, informing us on behalf of Mr Komorowski that our letter had been referred to the Ministry of State Treasury. 

On 26 September 2014, we received a response from the CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, refusing to comment on the dismissal of Brother Je?ewski as there is an ongoing legal proceeding. However, in his response the CEO emphasised that Je?ewski’s dismissal was “strictly on the basis of the Polish Labour Code”.

 On 9 October 2014, the ITF and ETF section secretaries sent a joint letter to the Minister of Treasury of Poland.

 The Minister of Treasury of Poland responded saying they don’t deal with labour disputes and repeating LOT’s arguments regarding why Andrzej was dismissed.