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Labour Website of the Year 2007

In this year's competition -- our tenth -- 7,866 votes were cast, which was 1,000 more votes than were cast last year. Voters were asked to confirm their votes by email and 6,137 (78%) did so.

Among the top ten websites were three from the developing world (for the first time) and three from the United Kingdom (for the first time). They include some of the very best union websites in the world and all are worth a close look.

The threshhold for making the top 10 this year was considerably higher than in previous years, and the leading ten sites were as follows:

10. NAPO - 118 votes. The first of three British trade union sites to make it to the top ten, the website of the probation officers union has at least two features you won't find on most union sites: the first is a blog, updated daily, by its general secretary, Judy McKnight. And the other is a discussion forum which is wildly popular among the members.

9. HEU - 162 votes. The oldest and largest health care union in British Columbia is also this year's sole Canadian entry into the top ten. (Two years ago, four of the ten were Canadian unions.) HEU has some 40,000 members and is part of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the only union to ever have won the Labour Website of the Year twice.

8. NUMSA - 206 votes. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa is one of two South African unions to make it to our top ten this year, the first time that's ever happened. A COSATU affiliate, this 216,000 member union has a long history of standing up for workers' rights -- and a website to be proud of.

7. CPSU - 231 votes. For some of us with long historic memories, the initials 'CPSU' do not automatically conjure up the 'Community and Public Sector Union' in Australia, but for the union's 160,000 members they obviously do. Two years ago, the union also competed for the website of the year award and also wound up in seventh place.

6. LHMU - 236 votes. The LHMU got more votes this year than any other Australian trade union website -- and not for the first time either. A campaigning site, it has just recently announced a major innovation: you can now join the union online.

5. UnionReps - 268 votes. The UnionReps website in Britain, sponsored by the Trades Union Congress, is unique among this year's top ten in that nearly all of its content is user-generated. The heart of the site is its forums, which are filled with daily exchanges among union reps (shop stewards) about the things that matter to trade unionists. The site is so special in this way that it has been the focus of academic research -- and should also be the model for other unions looking for ways to involve members and to encourage the sharing of information and experience.

4. IWW - 318 votes. The Industrial Workers of the World is a relatively small union with a very long history and an outstanding website (which won this competition 7 years ago). The more than 300 votes it received this year come not only from its members but from many who admire the effort the union is making to become increasingly relevant -- such as the extraordinary effort to organize Starbucks workers. For an example of a powerful open-source content management system being used by a union to promote community and solidarity, you couldn't do better than check out the IWW site.

3. KMU - 339 votes. The KMU is a national trade union center in the Philippines. It is, in their own words, "an independent labor center promoting genuine, militant and patriotic trade unionism. It is genuine because it recognizes the struggle between labor and capital and upholds the legitimate interest of the working class; militant because it relies on the workers collective struggle in defending trade union and democratic rights; and patriotic because it seeks to end imperialist domination and control over the Philippines." It ran a vigorous campaign to promote its new website to a well-deserved international prominence. Please check out their site to show your solidarity with their efforts to end political killings in the country.

2. UNISON - 809 votes. With over 1.3 million members, you'd expect the largest union in Britain to have a first rate website, and it does. UNISON very nearly won this year's competition following up on last year's win by another British union, but fell only a few dozen votes short.

1. Solidarity - 872 votes. The winner this year is the South African union Solidarity. Solidarity placed second in last year's competition and this year won in a close race. Its highly professional website is fully bilingual (English and Afrikaans), you can join online "in under a minute", and the union has a mailing list of 30,000 email addresses. Its members are obviously enthusiastic and are proud of the effort their union is making online. Congratulatory messages may be sent to its Deputy General Secretary, Dirk Hermann -