Feb
05
2020
0

New campaign in support of German workers, victory in Indonesia

It’s been six weeks since this page was last updated – we’ll be resuming regular updates from today. For this update, we’ll organise the news by country.

Cambodia:
We closed our campaign in all 18 languages after 6 months; it had 6,012 supporters. This did not end in a win.

Germany:
We launched a campaign in support of Ver.di members at Ameos, which has been doing some union busting. After just a few days online, it had over 4,600 supporters.

Striking workers at Ameos.

Ghana:
A student at the Global Labour University from Ghana (and currently based in Germany) is likely to begin work for us shortly for a few weeks as an intern.

Indonesia:
We closed the campaign (which had 5,638 supporters) because Rio has been set free, but we are waiting to hear the results of his upcoming court appearance before issuing a public statement to our lists.

Kazakhstan:
We have asked if we can close this campaign after three months and are awaiting a response.

Russia:
During a four-day visit to Moscow in January, we led a workshop with trade unions affiliated to KTR, the labour federation. We were also interviewed by the trade union newspaper Solidarnosc. We also discussed with our Russian comrades the possibility of a regional or global conference.

Switzerland:
We met with Dan Gallin of the Global Labour Institute in Geneva to discuss a second volume of his writings (we published the first in 2016).

UK:
We met with the new director of communications at the London-based International Transport Workers Federation in London and discussed our joint work. The ITF also made a generous donation to LabourStart this year.
We met with the new General Secretary of the teachers’ union, NASUWT. This union plays a very active role in international solidarity campaigns.

USA:
We have ordered a quarter page advertisement in the program of the upcoming Labor Notes conference in Chicago.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising,Publications |
Nov
21
2019
0

An overdue update – but lots to report!

This update is a couple of weeks overdue – sorry. But the good news is that … there’s lots of good news.  Let’s start with our campaigns.

Philippines campaign: We launched this last week at the request of the Education International. After 6 days online, it appears in 13 languages and has 4,773 supporters.

Kazakhstan campaign: After 20 days, this is live in 12 languages and has 4,871 supporters.

Cambodia campaign: We were asked to keep this live until the end of this year. The campaign appears in 18 languages and has 5,802 supporters.

Turkey campaign: After more than three months online, we closed the campaign in support of municipal workers in Alia?a. It had 6,833 supporters.

We also helped the IUF promote their new Coca-Cola and Cambodia campaigns.

Mailing lists: Following the sudden collapse on 31 October of the company which hosted our mailing lists (Sendy Hosting), we were able to migrate them all to our own server in the UK. We continue to use the same software (Sendy), but this was still a time-consuming process. We have begun fixing the sign up links so that everywhere points to the new, self-hosted version of Sendy which we are using. We picked up 186 new subscribers this month — people who supported our campaigns.

Global union federations: Eric travelled to Brussels to meet with the general secretary and staff at the Education International, and also had meetings with senior IUF staff in London and Geneva.

Other meetings: Eric also met with the chief executive of the Society of Authors in the UK to discuss possible campaigns, and with the Open Societies Foundations in London. We also have an ongoing conversation with the Wage Indicator Foundation in the Netherlands about possible cooperation.

Japan: With the move of one of our correspondents to Tokyo, we will be renewing our efforts in Japan, and the first step is likely going to be a translation of our ‘About LabourStart’ page to introduce our project.

Liberia: We had relatively long email conversation about building a website for the country’s unions.

USA: We had an email conversation with FLOC about helping them with their next campaigns. We also promoted widely news of the victory at Wendt — which had been the subject of a LabourStart campaign last year.  We heard back from Labor Notes and are pursuing possibilities relating to LabourStart panels or workshops at their conference in Chicago in April.

Next book: Following a meeting with Dan Gallin in Geneva, we agreed to move forward on a second collection of his essays about the international labour movement.

Donations: We received a generous donation from EPSU, the European region of PSI, and pledges from two more global union federations.

Jul
15
2019
2

New campaign, new mailing lists and a book promotion

Cambodia: Workers at the West Mebun temple.

New campaign – Cambodia. We launched a new campaign in support of workers restoring the West Mebun temple last week at the request of BWI and the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia. Today it has 4,213 supporters and appears in 16 languages (three of those will go live later today or tomorrow).

Sendy: Claims it will save us 99% of what we were spending on MailChimp.

Mailing lists: We have now completed the migration from MailChimp to Sendy, which will result in a very substantial cost saving. We’ve used the opportunity to create new sign-up pages on LabourStart for the mailing list in many languages, with more being added every day. Links to these new pages feature now on a number of our home pages. Though we still recruit most new subscribers from supporters of our campaigns, this will raise awareness of our mailing lists to a wider audience. We had a number of teething problems with our new host, but these now seem to have been overcome.

The result of our campaign: a 400% increase in the number of readers of this fantastic book.

Book promotion: We offered our book about migrant workers — The Strangers Among Us: Tales from a Global Migrant Worker Movement — for free for five days on Kindle. Previously, over the course of two years, we had only managed to sell 162 copies of this book. But our free campaign this month resulted in 662 more downloads — as well as a few sales of the print edition. This was a massive increase in the number of people who are reading the book, which is great. As expected, a handful of our readers complained that we were using the Amazon Kindle platform, so we located a PDF version and shared this with them as a free download. We will do this for one of our other books in September.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Mailing list,Publications |
Apr
09
2018
0

A busy week: Updates for Algeria, Brazil, Georgia, Iran, North America, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, and the USA

Our stall at the Labor Notes conference in Chicago this weekend.

Algeria: Our campaign in support of the independent energy workers union has been extended by a month at the request of the global union federations. It has reached 9,925 messages sent, making it the largest currently-running LabourStart campaign. I encourage all of you to help us get that number up past the 10,000 mark in the next few days.

Brazil: We collected and publicised widely the many statements by international unions condemning the arrest of former president Lula.

Georgia: Three Georgian news stories this week got special attention on LabourStart and wide promotion by us on social media – the mining disaster in Tkibuli in which six workers died, a hunger strike by port workers in Batumi, and the court decision in support of Rustavi Azot workers, who were the subject of a recent LabourStart campaign. Our 8-week old campaign supporting the Georgian unions’ call for a new labour law is up to 6,070 supporters. Eric will be travelling to Georgia in another 13 days and will meet with trade union leaders then.

Global: We continued doing weekly promotions on social media aimed at attracting new, individual subscriptions to the English mailing list. We also began preparing for our annual fundraising appeals, both to individuals and to major union donors.

Iran: Our campaign demanding the release of Esmail Abdi, which is getting close to the 3-month mark, has now reached 8,356 messages sent. This is the most recent of several campaigns we’ve run demanding his freedom, and is our second most popular current campaign.

North America: We had a strong presence at the Labor Notes conference in Chicago organised and led by Derek, who drove from Ontario. We also promoted this effort in a mass mailing to our US and Canadian lists, and with a dedicated website. We had a fully kitted-out stall, distributed flyers, sold books, and signed up new supporters.

Turkey: We signed up a new volunteer correspondent, who works for a well-regarded project called Solidarity TV. Meanwhile, our current campaign targetting Roy Robson is up to 7,670 supporters and is running in 16 languages.

UK: We designed and printed 1,000 full-colour leaflets for distribution at upcoming events, including this week’s Unions 21 conference in London, with a link to a dedicated website very similar to the one we did for Labor Notes – this will be template for other ‘welcome to LabourStart’ websites as needed.

Ukraine: We responded to an appeal by metal workers, urging them to get in touch with IndustriALL.

USA: At the request of a union webmaster in Michigan, we finally completed the creation of RSS news feeds for all 50 US states, updated automatically every 30 minutes.

Dec
04
2017
1

Libya campaign grows – but not fast enough

Nermin campaign: This is now up to 6,736 supporters and is in 15 languages. This is a gain of nearly 2,000 in the last week, in part due to a second mass mailing to the nearly 73,000 people who did not open the first message we sent. We can do this in languages other than English if translators are willing to help. Support for the campaign is still lower than we would have hoped, and the previous three campaigns all have more supporters than this one.

It seems that there has been a problem with long messages in our campaigns, which recently may have been causing some bounces. This is now fixed, we think.

Our mailing lists continue to grow; this week we added 164 new subscribers, most of them to the English list, but a significant number to the German as well.

Every day we share a number of stories on social media, and highlight one major one which gets publicised across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This week, those highlighted stories included a blog on gender-based violence within trade unions, a ban on strikes in Colombia, the announcement by South Africa’s new national trade union centre SAFTU that it was on course to have 1,000,000 members by the end of the year, Indian tea workers who demonstrated at the same time as there was a big UN conference in Geneva about business and human rights, and Friedrich Engels’ birthday.

We’re almost ready with a leaflet for the new year, just waiting on some photos.

Svensson prize: we’ve had a discussion about who LabourStart might recommend for next year’s prize, and this week we’ll inform the organisers.

Our next book is the second volume of Dan Gallin’s writings. We made progress this week, but are a bit stuck with some low-quality PDFs which need to be converted to text. Anyone who has ideas about how to do this, or is willing to help, please make contact. Meanwhile, one full chapter has now been formatted correctly.

Nov
05
2017
0

New campaigns – Georgia, Bangladesh

We have a new campaign in the works, supporting workers in Georgia. We’re waiting for our campaign partners to begin their publicity and then we’ll launch ours, including writing to all our translators.
We’ve also been alerted to an upcoming campaign in support of workers in Bangladesh.
We’ve begun more intensive work on our next book – a second volume of the writings of Dan Gallin. Following up on some problems we had with CreateSpace (Amazon) we may be using an alternative for this one.
I resolved a longstanding problem with the second country names in our news stories not appearing in the edition’s language. This is now fixed.
We added 138 new subscribers to our mailing lists in 7 languages.
Finally, we wrote to our lists about our victories in Mauritius, Egypt and Canada.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Mailing list,Publications |
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
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.

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