Sep
26
2022
0

Campaigns, conference and fund-raising: an update on the last six days

Belarus campaign: We have been informed that a new campaign will be launched shortly and we will then be able to close down our long-running current campaign, which has 10,210 supporters. It is currently our largest campaign.

Kazakhstan campaign: As our comrade Erzhan Elshibayev is still on trial, the unions have asked us to keep this long-running campaign live for a time, and we are doing so.

Myanmar campaign: The campaign has grown somewhat to 5,596 supporters and appears in nearly two dozen languages with more on the way.

Conference 2023: The first mailing (a simple ‘save the date’) went out on Thursday. Translators were sent the text today so the news can be shared much more widely. We are already seeing signs of interest in the conference.

Canadian campaigns: We have two campaigns running but growth has been hindered by the fact that following our transition from Mailchimp to Mailjet, our Canadian segment of the English mailing list has gotten much smaller. We are looking into way to fix this. Here are the two campaigns with the number of supporters –

Donations: September has, so far, been a good month for our fund-raising, as we took in £10,490.27.

Written by admin in: 2023 conference,Campaigns,Fund-raising |
Sep
20
2022
0

New campaign launched to support democracy in Myanmar

The main news this week was the launch of our Myanmar campaign at the request of the global unions. IUF did a mailing to promote the campaign and BWI posted on their website about it. After just six days online, the campaign has 4,710 supporters and appears in 19 languages, with more on the way.

Many of those 4,710 people asked to be added to our mailing list, but nearly all of them were already subscribed. Our current subscribers are not sharing our campaigns with others in a big way, and without the active involvement of unions, the lists will not grow. We were unable to update the English list yet due to a problem with the file we submitted, but for the biggest six lists other than English, we only picked up 18 new subscribers this week.

We launched two new Canadian campaigns this week but ran into a couple of problems mailing to the Canadians on our English list. First and most important, the mailing was blocked. We have now figured out why, and the mailing went out successfully yesterday. The other problem is that Canadian segment is much smaller than we thought it would be, probably due to a problem when we exported our lists from Mailchimp to Mailjet a few months ago. We are investigating why that happened and will try to restore the list segment to its previous size.

Finally, we continued to raise more money this week, partly due to a mention of our needs in the mailings that went out to support the Myanmar campaign. Since I last reported, we have taken in £1,915.37 into our PayPal account, with other money also arriving as cheques and bank transfers. We are probably over £6,000 in donations since the beginning of September and we expect more to come through (including a substantial donation from a Canadian union).

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising,Mailing list |
Sep
12
2022
0

Great news – Cihan Erdal is free

Cihan Erdal: Good news – our comrade who had been jailed in Turkey and was the subject of a major LabourStart campaign is now back in Canada. We have shared this news very widely.

USA: We have reached out to unions which are organising workers at Amazon and Starbucks in the hope of helping them with LabourStart campaigns. We are hopeful that at least one of these
will result in a campaign shortly.

Polish campaign: Solidarnosc informed us that the campaign we were planning on is no longer needed, as the workers have won.  As we were informed, “the strike is over and the union leader is back to work.”

Myanmar campaign: We have a call today with BWI following a decision by the Council of Global Unions to revive the LabourStart campaign demanding recognition of the national unity government instead of the military dictatorship.

Fundraising: Last week I reported that we had raised just under £2,800. Today, that number is £3,709, a gain of about £910 this week. Mailings have yet to go out (not yet translated) into German, Russian, Ukrainian, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Esperanto and other languages.  I appeal to comrades to help with these translations — thank you!

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising |
Sep
05
2022
0

September fundraiser kicks off

Fundraising: As we do a couple of times a year, last week we sent out a fundraising appeal to our readers.  Nearly all the donations came in via PayPal and these totalled £2,796.73 so far.  As there were around 120 donors, the average donation was £23.30.  The appeal went out in ten languages – Belarusian, Chinese, English, Finnish, Georgian, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, and Spanish.  We’ll be following up today with the other languages, trying to get translations done.

Belarus: Support for the campaign has slowed down to a trickle, with just 17 new supporters this week, as we wait for the union to decide on next steps.

Poland: Solidarnosc reached out about a possible campaign and we are in discussions about it.

Ukraine: Following up on our recent campaign, we were contacted by a group of trade unionists who have doing solidarity work in a number of countries and who had launched their own campaign on change.org.  We had a Zoom call this week to discuss joint work in the future.

Telegram: Using all our social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) we reached out to encourage people to follow our public feed on Telegram, which had just 119 followers.  The result was a gain of just one new follower, which does say something about the limits of those social media accounts — and possibly how few trade unionists are using Telegram.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising,Social networks |
Aug
29
2022
0

“Summertime … and the livin’ is easy”

Yes, we’re opening this week’s blog post with lyrics from George Gershwin’s masterpiece, Summertime.

Many global unions (and others) tend to shut down in August, particularly in the northern hemisphere, and as a result we’ve not gotten any campaign proposals recently. This will almost certainly change in the next week or so as people return to their offices. In the meanwhile …

This week we shut down the Ukraine campaign following President Zelensky’s decision not to veto the anti-union law. We announced this in a mass mailing early in the week, together with the good news from Castorama in Poland, where workers have won a major court battle (we had a campaign on this a couple of years back).

The Belarus campaign finally broke the 10,000 barrier – and today has 10,175 supporters.

Our mailing lists grew by just 66 last week – this is due to not having a new campaign, which would lead to a boost in new subscribers.  This should change soon.

To-do list: From 107 at the beginning of August the list is now down to 60 as we clear up many older tasks, mostly dealing with back-end of the website. We hope to shortly bring this number down to 50.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Mailing list |
Aug
22
2022
0

Ukraine campaign ends as President refused to veto anti-union law

Ukraine campaign: Some good news and bad news. The good news is that the campaign was a relatively large one for us — in the end, we got 7,090 supporters. The bad news is that President Zelensky ignored our appeal and signed the anti-union bill into law. The campaign will be suspended today.

Poland: Just some good news this time. We’ve heard from UNI Europe that “4 of 10 dismissed union leaders [have been] reinstated at Castorama/Poland”. The LabourStart campaign closed some time ago, but we made a real contribution to that victory.

Global Solidarity Conference 2023: We held the first (online) meeting of the global steering committee and have agreed on next steps. The conference will be held in Tbilisi, Georgia next spring and we plan to announce the actual date very soon.

Mailing lists: Following the growth of our Ukraine campaign, we’ve picked up 437 new subscribers to our lists — including 137 new ones for the Ukrainian list. Last week, we added 440 new names to our lists.

Our home page: The technical issues now appear to have been fixed following the corruption of our database last month.

To-do list: We’ve made more progress in reducing the backlog of tasks this month. We started with 107 at the beginning of this month and are today down to just 66. We hope to be around 56 by the end of this month – a much more manageable number.

 

Written by admin in: 2023 conference,Campaigns,Mailing list |
Aug
15
2022
0

Ukraine campaign – nearly 6,000 supporters

In Ukraine, workers demonstrate against the new anti-union law.

Ukraine campaign: Following our launch in English last Tuesday, the campaign quickly grew to 5,785 supporters and currently appears in 15 languages with more to come. SumOfUs.org helped by encouraging people who support their petition to also support ours (this is a first, and good news). At our suggestion, they cleared their campaign and text with the unions. The unions in Ukraine are helping to build support, and the campaign also benefitted from a re-tweet by the popular British writer and journalist Paul Mason. We received a small number of hostile messages accusing us, on the one side, of being pro-Putin for daring the criticise the Ukrainian government during war-time, and on the other — for being pro-Zelensky and … well, you can imagine the rest.

Kazakhstan campaign: We are running this for a bit longer as the case remains in the courts. We will do a followup mailing today to our list about this.

Iran campaign: We closed the campaign, announcing that one of the two labour rights defenders has been released. This too will be covered in today’s mailing.

Global Solidarity Conference 2023: We’ve scheduled a first meeting of the joint local and international steering committee for later this week. We hope to be able to announce dates shortly.

Mailing lists: Our lists have grown as we add more campaign supporters; last week, we picked up 440 new subscribers, most of them in English but also 37 new subscribers to our Ukrainian list.

Home page: I fixed a long-standing software issue with links to the second country (if there is one) for a news story.

Other software issues: Our programmer has returned and resumed work on fixing our database; she will also be available to help with other projects.

T-shirts:I had a long conversation with No Sweat in the UK and we’re exploring the possibility of doing a second t-shirt very soon. Last year’s campaign was quite successful.

Facebook: Our Group (Global Labour News & Information) has come under attack by spammers – though there is no reason to believe that we’ve been singled out. We’ve been deleting the offensive posts and blocking the spammers, have resumed vetting people who try to join the group, and have posted a pinned message to the group explaining what’s going on.

To-do list: As promised, the list of often longstanding items has been dropping steadily throughout August, from 107 to 75 today. I hope to have this list below 60 by the end of the month.

Aug
08
2022
0

New campaign launched – Ukraine

We’re back to weekly updates.

Campaigns: We launched a new campaign on Friday in support of Ukrainian trade unions.  We’ll be keeping our Kazakhstan campaign live for a bit longer as we wait for news from the union.

T-shirts: We’ve scheduled a call with an organisation in the UK that does union-made t-shirts as a possible new way to produce our shirts this year.

Global Solidarity Conference 2023: This week we’ll be writing to the members of the steering group to schedule a first meeting (on Zoom).

Our to-do list:  We’ve had a very long to-do list for some time now, and it was 104 a week ago.  It is now down to just 83 and I hope to continue to reduce it throughout August, aiming to reach 60 by the end of the month.

Software issues: The programmer who assisted us recently is back from holiday this week so we should be able to move forward with more fixes and improvements to the website.

Written by admin in: 2023 conference,Campaigns,News database |
Aug
01
2022
0

Weekly update: Global conference, Iran, News database, Correspondents, Campaigns

Conference 2023: We have begun work planning our next Global Solidarity Conference — which is long overdue — in Tbilisi.  The Georgian Trade Union Confederation has named its members of the steering committee and we have invited members of the LabourStart Executive to participate as well.  We hope to have the first meeting of the joint committee very soon.

Iran: We have raised workers’ rights cases in Iran with three global union federations — IndustriALL, the ITF and Education International.  EI has requested to be included as a sponsor of our current campaign; we have asked about whether they want a separate campaign for a teacher activist.

News database: The work repairing this continues as we consider moving the whole database to a different web hosting company.  (Support from our current hosts has been non-existent — and they caused the problem in the first place.)

New correspondents: We added three new correspondents last week from Canada (Iran), Germany and Hong Kong (UK).

Campaigns: We had been invited to prepare a campaign in support of a workers’ rights activist in Kenya, but the company caved and agreed to the demands before a campaign could be launched.

Jul
24
2022
0

The last four months on LabourStart

Because we’re very late with this report, it will be very brief — but should give you a good idea of what LabourStart has been up to in the last four months. Regular updates will resume from next week.

Campaigns

  • We closed the IUF’s Cambodia Nagaworld campaign – it was a win.  We also closed the Lithuania and Colombia campaigns – which we could not declare as victories.
  • We launched a campaign in support of Borjomi water workers in Georgia – and closed it after a couple of days – this was a big win for the workers.  Eric got to spend a day with the strikers during his visit to Georgia in May, where he also met with the Georgian union leadership.
  • In early May, we launched a new campaign in support of jailed union leaders in Belarus – with the help of GLU students.  It is currently our largest campaign, with over 9,700 supporters.
  • We also launched a new campaign on Iran, with the support of the IUF.
  • And we also launched a campaign in support of a jailed trade unionist in Kazakhstan.
  • We launched our first campaign in Armenian, now that the interface has been translated into that language.

Global Solidarity Conference 2023

Discussions begin with the Georgian Trade Union Confederation about holding a conference in Tbilisi in early 2023.

Fundraising

We sent out a fundraising appeal at the beginning of April. We raised over £2,000 in the first 24 hours, and more funds over the course of the following months.

Home page

Due to changes made by our web hosts, IONOS, many records became corrupted and character encoding on our home page broke on 1 July. Following that, we had problems with our jobs page, our photo of the week and our link to Radio Labour. Most of this has now been fixed, and work on this should be completed by 10 August.

Interns

Our three GLU interns finished their work at the end of March.  We were lucky to have Jessica, Malaika and Zubair working with us — albeit for just a few weeks — and thank them for their efforts.

Labour News Network

This was improved with a new banner and with several items posted to it.

Mailing lists

We migrated from Mailchimp to Mailjet in May, saving a lot of money.

May Day

  • We organised a recorded May Day event with the participation of many trade unions from around the globe.
  • There were 649 views of the video as of 2 May, and 500 more since then.
  • We shared many of the individual videos across social media in May.

Social media

UK

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