May
10
2020
0

LabourStart on Twitter: Current vs September 2019 Numbers

During this period we have not made any concerted efforts to build the accounts. All the major feeds experienced growth starting when the COVID-19 crisis hit.

Just eyeballing it, the Portuguese feed, which carries almost exclusively stories from Brazil and Portugal, seems to have experienced the greatest proportional growth.

Note also the dormant accounts. If anyone is interested in assuming responsibility for any of them please let us know.

Our global feed in English remains one of the largest union-friendly Twitter accounts around.


English: 23,798- 22,578

Canada English: 11,706-10,547

USA: 5,526-4,822

Australia: 4,227-3,986

Spanish: 3,493-2,177

Canada French: 2,277-2,155

Portuguese: 1,816-1,397

Italian: 517-516 (last tweet June 2019)

Swedish: 361-364 (last tweet 2016)

Indonesia: 350-354 (last tweet 2015)

French: 227-230 (last tweet 2018)

German: 126-122 (last tweet 2018)

Russian: 40-34

Japanese: 20-19 (last tweet 2012)

Dutch: 12-12

Arabic: 7-7

Written by derek in: Uncategorized |
Apr
20
2020
0

May Day is just 11 days away …

Most of our work in the last week has revolved around our upcoming Virtual May Day.

We encourage all unions to submit short videos (up to 3 minutes) using this online form:

https://www.labourstart.org/go/submitvideo

We have begun promoting that link very widely, as have our global union partners.

This included a mailing to all our correspondents.

We continue to have regular Zoom meetings with global unions, and last week we were able to do a first trial run of our live streaming platform.

In non-May Day news, we assisted a network of call centre workers (in Francophone countries) with a trilingual campaign they launched on change.org.

We also extensively publicised the winner of this year’s Arthur Svensson prize for international trade union rights.

And we received a generous donation from the Geneva-based FDHT.

Finally, our backlog of emails — and new correspondent applications — is starting to clear. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Jul
29
2019
0

July is campaign season at LabourStart

We’ve launched three campaigns already in July and the month isn’t even over yet.

One, which we launched last week, is in support of Erlan Baltabay, a jailed trade union leader in Kazakhstan. That campaign has 5,665 supporters after just five days online and already appears in 15 languages.

The second one is supporting municipal workers in Izmir, Turkey (pictured). The local authorities dismissed trade union members without any legal basis. The workers have been picketing since the 20th of May. The number of dismissals reached 187 on July 24. This campaign will be going live today — and a LabourStart banner will be taken the picket line this week.

The Cambodia campaign (Cambodia: Solidarity with workers at the West Mebun temple) which we launched 26 days ago has 5,482 supporters and appears in 17 languages. It looks like we will soon be able to add Khmer to that list.

Our largest active campaign remains Pakistan: Reinstate the Karachi 8 (pictured above) with 7,478 supporters. This campaign appears in 16 languages and has been active for a little more than two months.

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Jun
28
2019
1

New campaign, new country – same company, same union-busting

In the last three weeks we launched one new campaign, closed one, and did a lot of other stuff. Keep reading …

Poland campaign: We launched a new campaign in support of a union activist facing victimisation for his trade union activity. The campaign is currently in 14 languages (with more on the way), and has 6,159 supporters. It targets the same company (Hutchison) as another current LabourStart campaign in support of port workers in Karachi.

China campaign: We closed the campaign in all languages after three months online and are waiting to hear back from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions about the results. The total number of supporters of the campaign was 8,557 and it ran in 18 languages. It was our largest current campaign when we closed it.

ITUC Global Rights Index: Having discussed this with an ITUC staffer in Oslo, we proceeded to give the launch of this report extensive publicity this year, doing a special mailing to our list timed to coincide with the official release of the report, and promoting it widely across social media. A Turkish translation was done, and was sent out to our Turkish list as well.

Arthur Svensson Prize: Eric Lee was invited to represent LabourStart in Oslo for the award ceremony. His speech is available to read here. You can also view the whole panel including Eric in this video.

Correspondents: We recruited 30 new correspondents in the first half of 2019. They come from 20 countries: Australia, Canada, Colombia, Greece, Guyana, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Swaziland, the UK, and the USA. Most of them have not yet been active but we will be making a special effort to reach out to all of them.

New mailing list system: We’ve now migrated nearly all the mailing lists from MailChimp to Sendy, with a potential cost saving of over 90%. There have been some hiccups, but on the whole this works well. The biggest lists (especially English) will be the last to be migrated in the next few days.

Static pages: The static pages on the LabourStart website have been built over more than two decades, with many different designs. From this week, they are all getting a unified design using an ultra-light content management system called Pico, which they call “a stupidly simple, blazing fast, flat file CMS.” For an example of what these pages might look like, see here.

Donations: We received generous donations from unions in Canada, Norway and the UK this month, as well as many individual donations.

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
May
20
2019
0

The last 80 days on LabourStart

We are very late with updates to this page, so this one will have to cover the last 80 days — sorry!

In future, we hope to do more frequent updates — starting with one in another two weeks.

Mailing lists:
We begin work on trying to a tool called Sendy to cut down on some of our costs, as MailChimp is quite expensive. This transition to a new system will be a slow process and it is something that we tried several years ago. But if we can get it to work, we will save a lot of money.

May Day & International Womens Day:
We had extensive coverage from all over the world and publicised our coverage widely. Thanks to our volunteer correspondents for their great work on this.

New correspondents:
We have new volunteer correspondents in Italy, Kenya, Pakistan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden and the UK. Welcome on board to all of you.

New design:
A new design for LabourStart’s home page is now being readied and will be released soon.

Campaigns – still active:
BRAZIL – We launched a Portuguese language campaign targetting our supporters in Brazil in early April.
CHINA – On 13 March we launched a campaign at the request of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and today it appears in 18 languages and has 8,497 supporters.

Campaigns – closed:
GUATEMALA – We closed PSI’s Guatemala campaign, which appeared in 16 languages and had 8.128 supporters.
JORDAN – This campaign was closed at the request of the Solidarity Center and ITUC after the government failed to listen to the calls for an improved labour law. It had about 3,500 supporters and appeared in 10 languages.
PHILIPPINES – We closed down the EI’s Philippines campaign after 3 months; the campaign had 8,130 supporters and appeared in 17 languages.
THAILAND – We closed the ITF Thailand campaign after more than 3 months; it appeared in 18 languages and had 7,494 supporters.

Fundraising:
During the final week of April we launched our annual appeal. Details on how much money we raised and how this compares to previous years — in the next update. If you’ve not yet donated and want to help us out, please visit our donations page.

Internationalisation:
We completed the translation of the interface used by our volunteer correspondents into Spanish.
We also made a significant number of improvements in how our women workers page renders in different languages.

Bangladesh:
We shared the IUF urgent action story on social media and as a top global labour news story.

Brazil:
We launched a campaign at the request of the Brazilian unions – see above.

Canada:
We did a few mailings to our Canadian supporters to encourage them to support some campaigns by national unions there.

China:
We made the IUF story about solidarity with Jasic workers a top global labour news story, and shared widely across social media.
We also launched a major campaign – see above.

Cuba:
We shared widely on LabourStart and across social media the story from BWI about the Cuban unions and the international trade union movement.

Europe:
Derek Blackadder participated in the ETUC congress in Vienna.
We shared news about the ETUC march in Brussels as a top global labour news story, as well as across social media.

Greece:
An ETUC news story about Greek Stalinists attacking a union is our top news story and we shared it widely on social media.

India:
We shared a story from the ITUC – #modimustgo – widely on social media and as a top global labour news story.

Iran:
We made a story about the arrests of women in Iran a top story on social media.
We publicised as a top global story and across social media reports of a nationwide teachers’ strike.

Korea:
We promoted the ITUC story on Korea as a top global labour news story, and across social media.

Mali:
We publicised the ITF Mali hunger strike story as a top global news story and across social media.

Myanmar:
We promoted the IUF Myanmar campaign to our list.

Palestine:
We shared the IFJ story about journalists in Gaza widely on social media and as a top global news story.

Philippines:
We promoted the awarding of the Arthur Svensson prize to a Philippines trade unionist as a top story and to our mailing list. Eric Lee has been invited to attend the awards ceremony in Oslo, and to speak on a panel there.

South Africa:
We shared widely on LabourStart and across social media COSATU’s call on workers to vote for the ANC in the recent elections. And also the story about the AMCU being decertified.

Sri Lanka:
We shared the ITF statement on Sri Lanka terrorist attacks across social media and as a top global news story.

USA:
We shared quite a few news stories about the IAM organising campaign at Delta airlines and posted widely on social media. We have also approached the union about helping with a campaign.
We promoted the UE strike in Erie as a top global news story, and across social media.

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
May
20
2019
3

Our New Twitter Challenge

Hi comrades. Derek Blackadder of LabourStart Canada here.

I manage a number of our Twitter accounts and help out with a couple of others. Recently Twitter has changed some of the limits it places on  ‘churn’ activities which until recently had allowed us to increase the number of followers of our accounts quite substantially and quickly. For example, on most of our accounts following 20 or so other accounts within a few minutes results in that action being no longer available to us for 25 hours. In the past doing this brought us to the attention of a great many Twitter users with an interest in labour news and resulted in us gaining many followers.

If anyone has any other strategies that might replace the ‘churn’ approach I would be grateful if you would contact me with details either here or at [email protected]

In Solidarity,

Written by derek in: Uncategorized |
Dec
19
2018
0

Victories in Turkey, Malaysia as we launch three new campaigns this month

It’s been a very busy month — with some good news to report (see especially Malaysia and Turkey) and three new campaigns this month (Canada, Hungary, Iran). Here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been up to in the run-up to Christmas …

Bangladesh: We do a mailing to our English list to promote an IUF campaign in this country.

Belarus: We had some issues with our news page in Belarusian, but have resolved most of these.

Brazil: We publicise widely the story of a complaint global unions are making to the ILO.

Canada: At the request of the postal workers union (CUPW) we launch a global campaign supporting their struggle. As of today it has 6,588 supporters.
Earlier in the month, we do one mailing to our Canadian list.

China: We give extensive publicity to a Human Rights Watch report on China.

Europe: We gave extensive coverage — and not for the first time — of Amazon workers strikes in Spain and Germany.

Germany: We continue attempts to revive our dormant Twitter account with regular postings and following many more trade union and other Twitter feeds; we’ve seen some growth.
Meanwhile, our German translators have become active again and we did our first mailing in German in three months.

Global: We give extensive publicity to the ITUC congress and its “worst boss” poll.

Hungary: At the request of the Hungarian Trade Union Confederation we launch a campaign on 18 December; within 24 hours it nearly reaches 5,000 supporters.

India: An e-newsletter called ‘Life of Labour’ sums up the best sources of workers’ news online and writes this: “Labourstart is an international online news aggregator, with the tagline ‘Where trade unionists start their day on the net’. It’s run through volunteer correspondents from across the world. It shares links to news on workers and worker related developments published in over 20 languages, while also running online campaigns of various trade unions and international federations of workers’ organisations. It has been providing this service for over two decades.”

Iran: We launch a new campaign in support of jailed teachers at the request of the Education International; the campaign currently has 6,983 supporters. We closed the Mohammed Habibi campaign; it had 10,855 supporters and appeared in 20 languages.
We also share a story about Iran arresting steel workers on social media.
We promoted widely an IUF story on Iran as well.

Kazakhstan: We continued posting new translations of our campaign. It had 7,704 supporters by today.

Korea: We shared a mass street demo story widely on social media.

Malaysia: We heard back from BWI global union about a campaign we ran more than two years ago. Here’s part of what they told us: “I know that Labourstart covered it on the website, but I just wanted to get in touch again and extend personal thanks to you for your assistance on the long-running Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) dispute. The successful secret ballot outcome has been a huge confidence booster for the union; it was previously down to just one site and struggling for dear life to hold on. They have now won secret ballots in a few other sites and are actively recruiting in quite a few more; in short, they’ve been able to turn the corner and are now growing stronger and stronger! I know that international support has been a major factor in keeping them going. SFI is still proving to be a battle (the company is teetering on financial meltdown and the buyers are playing games) but there is a newfound vitality.”

Myanmar: We gave extensive coverage to the IUF’s story about the hotel workers’ protest camp.

Norway: We share news about the Svensson Prize (which is accepting nominees for next year’s award) with our English and Norwegian mailing lists.

Poland: We’ve resumed translations of campaigns and have done our first mailings to our Polish list since January 2016 — nearly three years.

Sweden: We have 7 new translators and our campaigns are doing well, and our list is growing again.

Thailand: We continued posting new translations of our Mitsubishi Electric campaign. It had 7,384 supporters by today.

Turkey: Following our campaign, we were able to announce a victory for the Istanbul airport workers. A special mailing was sent out to all our lists about this. It included this statement from the union: “The first hearing of workers, who staged a protest against their bad working conditions and occupational murders in the construction of the New Airport in ?stanbul was held on December 5th. The hearing was held in the dining hall of the courthouse due to the low capacity of the courtrooms. The court ruled that workers shall be released on probation. The next hearing will be on March 20, 2019. Özgür Karabulut, President of Progressive Union of Construction Workers is free now. He will be able to witness the birth of his daughter. And he will be back in his duties in the workers’ movement. There will be a long-term struggle for improving the OHS conditions of airport workers. Thanks to all sisters and brothers who supported our campaign for their freedom and who contributed visibility of working conditions at Istanbul Airport.”

UK: At the request of the TUC and the journalists’ union (NUJ) we publicise a campaign of theirs to our UK mailing list and our UK Facebook page.
We give extensive publicity to the Uber workers court victory – a win for all workers in the ‘gig economy’.

Ukraine: We gave extensive publicity to a story about a miners’ struggle.

News database: We’ve contacted our hosting company about expanding the size of our database, as our news database is constantly growing and we keep reaching our limits.
We fixed a problem for some languages where stories tagged as top global priorities were not appearing anywhere.
We fixed a problem which would happen when a correspondent would change their default country or language.

Working women: We’ve developed a prototype of a fully multilingual version of our news page. It will go live soon.

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Feb
06
2018
1

Solidarity Forever: Andrew Casey’s speech in Sydney last month

This began circulating on Facebook today and I want to share it very widely.

Apparently, it was Andrew’s very first public speech – at a rally in support of the Iranian people.

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Feb
02
2018
7

Andrew Casey

Andrew Casey died suddenly yesterday in his home city of Sydney, Australia.

As Sharan Burrow, the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, wrote:

“Andrew Casey was a union man He stood tall amongst us as an organiser and an advocate with a passion for justice second to none. On top of a long career in the Australian trade union movement his journalist and campaign skills were deployed in the interests of workers all over the world. Andrew will be greatly missed.”

Sally McManus, the Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, wrote:

“Andrew was a dear friend (or ‘cobber’ as he would say) and a comrade. He worked at the ACTU in the early 90s, then United Voice (when it was the LHMU) and then the AWU. He was running the Australian arm of LabourStart, the first and still only, international union online news and campaign network. He was a trade unionist through and through. We would often catch up, share stories and he was always looking to do more to support in whatever way he could. I respected Andrew so much because his was such a principled person. He was also a refugee and throughly good and generous.”

Andrew was all that. But he was more. To me and many others, he was a close friend and comrade.

I first met Andrew in Sydney nearly twenty years ago. He quickly grasped the potential of the Internet to help promote the labour movement and volunteered to be a LabourStart correspondent in the early days.

Our volunteer correspondents have the job of finding news stories about the trade union movement and posting links to them to our website. Andrew took that job incredibly seriously and would post dozens of such links every day. He would spot so many of the most important news stories, that other volunteers would complain that whenever they tried to post something, Andrew would have gotten there first. I gave him the title of “senior correspondent for the Asia-Pacific region” in the hope that this might rein him him. But to no avail. Andrew was interested in the entire world, and provided comprehensive coverage of countries thousands of kilometres away from his home.

On one visit to Australia I stayed with him and learned part of his secret: Andrew had difficulty sleeping, and would wake up in the middle of the night, sit down at his desktop PC, and trawl the web for even more stories for LabourStart.

But it wasn’t just the fact that he had the time. He totally “got” what our project was about, and was active in everything we did. The list of places we’d meet up is a list of LabourStart conferences, for Andrew attended nearly all of them – in Canada, Washington DC, London, Brussels, Berlin, Istanbul and of course Sydney where he coordinated our first conference in that region in 2012.

Andrew was passionate about our online campaigns. When we’d launch a campaign in support of embattled trade unionists in Fiji, Andrew would spend hours finding the most interesting news items, which he’d promote to the top of our news page. His knowledge of the labour movement in many parts of the world was encyclopedic.

In addition to his commitment to the trade union movement, Andrew was a lifelong supporter of Social Democracy and an opponent of totalitarianism – probably the result of being born in Hungary and taken out of the country by his parents after the Soviet Union suppressed the 1956 revolution. Andrew was particularly keen for the international labour movement to remain committed to trade union independence from the state, and worked hard with those unions and pro-labour NGOs in China and elsewhere to promote his vision. He was also a strong supporter of refugees, never forgetting how he and his parents came to be Australians.

He was also a committed fighter against racism and anti-Semitism. He built bridges between communities in his native Australia, and at international level strove to encourage reconciliation between Israel and Palestine.

His sudden loss is a real blow to LabourStart and the international and Australian trade union movements.

It is also a loss to all his friends and family, who loved him dearly.

May his memory be blessed.

Eric Lee

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Jan
17
2018
0

In Memorium Donations to LabourStart

Derek Blackadder here.

Bob Haywood, a well-known and widely-respected Canadian trade unionist died a couple of days ago. In lieu of flowers etc. he left instructions that mourners should make donations to either Our Times (an independent labour magazine) or to LabourStart.

I don’t believe that anyone has done this before.

It is a bit delicate but we’re trying to think of an appropriate way to draw attention to his request and perhaps in doing so encourage others to follow his example.

The obituary is HERE.

Any thoughts on this can be left here or sent to me at [email protected]

Written by derek in: Uncategorized |

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