May
19
2020
0

First new campaign in months – and LabourStart.tv is revived

Belarus: We will be launching a campaign shortly together with IndustriALL.

Soy Sros.

Mrs. Soy Sros, president of the CUMW local union at Superl Cambodia.

Cambodia: We launched our first new campaign in months in support of a sacked woman trade union leader. This is likely to be our first campaign to appear in the Khmer language.

Canada: We did a mailing to our list in support of a UFCW campaign.

Iran: LabourStart has been invited to play a part in the upcoming international day of solidarity with Iranian political prisoners; we will submit a video.

Myanmar: A campaign has been proposed; we are currently in discussions about how to move forward on this.

About LabourStart: This page — which we now link to prominently on campaigns — has now been updated and improved.

Events: We have stopped using this feature on LabourStart as no one was adding new events.

LabourStart.tv: We’ve revived this, and now have the labourstart.tv domain name again. For many of the videos, we now have embedded them onto the page, so you don’t have to leave LabourStart to view them. (As a result, the page looks much more interesting.) Correspondents have been encouraged to tag videos to appear here, and that part of the link submission page has been highlighted to make this easier. There’s also now a prominent graphic link to labourstart.tv on our home page.

Website design: We have migrated several more of our languages to the new home page; right now 26 languages use the new page and we have only 9 left to convert, which will take place in the next few days.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Events,LabourStart.tv |
Apr
13
2020
0

D-18: Virtual May Day preparations continue

The last week has been busy with preparations for our upcoming Virtual May Day event, which now has the support of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and eight global union federations.

We held a Zoom call last week with them and will hold another one tomorrow as we move ahead on practical steps to collect all the video content we need for what may be a 12 hour broadcast.

Our main broadcasting platform will be Vimeo, and we’ve purchased a subscription to its live streaming service, which allows an unlimited number of people to view our video at the same time. We’re working in close partnership with a colleague at PSI who has already set up a page where people can submit videos (or URL links to videos which are on the web) and has been exploring all the many options Vimeo offers to make our broadcast look as professional as possible. We will need to be circulating that link from today to the widest possible network. (We are waiting for confirmation that it all works.)

The global unions have discussed among themselves the issues which concern them the most and we hope that most of the videos will be connected to those issues.

We’ve contacted the people responsible for our three live campaigns on LabourStart (Albania, Poland, Philippines) in the hope that we can get videos from them. We should use Virtual May Day to build support for all those campaigns.

In other news, we did the first mailing ever to our most active correspondents, and will do this on a regular (probably quarterly) basis.

We also received a request for a new campaign and are currently reviewing options.

Finally, we still have a backlog of people who requested to be LabourStart correspondents. We hope to have that completely cleared up this week.

Mar
30
2020
0

Virtual May Day!

This year, for the first time in history, workers will not be able to hold traditional May Day events anywhere in the world. For that reason, LabourStart has taken the initiative to host a Virtual May Day, in partnership with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and global union federations. More details coming soon.

In other news:

  • We were able to close down the Kazakhstan campaign as Erlan Baltabay was released from jail. The campaign had 7,651 supporters and ran in 18 languages. This is very good news, as was the release earlier of the Iranian teacher trade unionist Esmail Abdi. We will share this good news shortly with our lists.
  • COVID-19: We sent a reminder to all correspondents how to tag stories. We have over 1,000 stories on the English page alone, as well as in many other languages. The page was also repeatedly promoted over social media again. We are adding languages to this project all the time, most recently including Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Slovenian
  • We did a mailing to our German list to promote a campaign being run by ver.di.
Written by admin in: 2020 Virtual May Day,Campaigns,COVID-19 |
Mar
23
2020
0

COVID-19: Week 2

While most of the work in the last week has naturally focussed on the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s start with some good news:

Iran: Jailed teachers trade union leader Esmail Abdi, who has been the subject of more than one LabourStart campaign over the years, has been released as part of the general amnesty now taking place in Iran.

Correspondents: We continued to add many new ones, including from Sweden, Portugal and Canada, though a backlog remains.

And now, back to COVID-19:

Our special website now works ALL our languages. Country names appear, where available, in the correct language. Additional links have been added to the left column in a number of languages, with more on the way. Stories which have been tagged as top priority (global or country) have been highlighted in yellow. Mailings were sent in many languages to promote the page. In the last week, traffic to this page exceeded traffic to our home page, and is growing rapidly.

As of this morning, there were well over 1,000 stories about the pandemic on LabourStart’s special news page. These included 613 news stories about COVID-19 on LabourStart in English, 231 in French, 229 in Spanish, 102 in Portuguese, 88 in Norwegian, 48 in Dutch, 38 in Italian, 16 in Icelandic, 16 in Russian, 10 in Turkish, 9 in German, 6 in Polish, 5 in Danish, 4 in Finnish, 4 in Swedish, 2 in Czech, 1 in Bulgarian, 1 in Greek, and 1 in Slovak. More languages are being added now.

To support national unions in their online campaigns, we created new UK and US segments of our mailing list and did mailings to promote online campaigns related to the coronavirus for UNITE HERE in the US and for the TUC in the UK. We expect to do mailings in Canada as well to support union efforts there.

Our COVID-19 page has been noted and shared by, among others, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Labor Notes in the US.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Correspondents |
Mar
16
2020
2

COVID-19

COVID-19: We went live with our new news page, which now works in a number of languages and is filled with content updated throughout the day. Extensive publicity was done on social media and graphic links were added to a number of our home pages. A mailing was sent to all correspondents to explain how to tag stories. We received quite a few positive messages back from trade unionists in different countries and even a senior figure in the ILO retweeted our announcement about this initiative. Mailings have gone out to promote the page in a number of languages.

New correspondents: In response to two recent appeals, we’ve had a large number of new correspondent applications — more than ever before. I’m slowly processing these and in the last few days have added new correspondents from Mauritius and the USA. Many more will be added in the next few days.

Mailing lists: We added 174 new supporters to our lists based on recent campaigns. We also did the regular monthly promotion across social media.

Poland: We are likely to close our Poland campaign very soon — UNI reports some real progress on this, in part thanks to our effort. The campaign has also led to significant growth for our Polish mailing list.

Turkey: We have been asked to support striking leather workers; it turns out that we already did a campaign on this, so we have turned to one of the global union federations who are looking into this for us.

UK: Unfortunately due to the coronavirus, we will not be participating in the annual conference of the teachers union NASUWT.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Correspondents,Mailing list |
Mar
09
2020
0

International Women’s Day – and 20 new correspondents

International Women’s Day: We’ve had a glut of applications to be new correspondents, many of the applicants coming from Africa. This was the result of our International Women’s Day mass mailing. In addition to writing to our subscribers about our Women Workers page, we urged people to sign up to be correspondents. The Women Workers page picked up 1,754 new views as a direct result of this publicity. We also publicised the page across social media. And three days before the 8 March holiday, we wrote to all correspondents urging them to post news tagged for that page.

Kazakhstan: We did a major followup mailing for our campaign to free jailed union leader Erlan Baltaby, and have boosted support from 5,200 to 7,626. This is now our second-largest active campaign. The campaign also appears in additional languages now, including Swedish and Dutch.

Philippines: In addition to the campaign we’re continuing to run, we gave extensive publicity to a new video created by ACT, the teachers’ union. Our campaign, which we gave another boost to with mass mailings in many languages, has reached 8,948 supporters, and is our largest current campaign.

USA: We had a phone call and several email exchanges with a US union that is considering using LabourStart as a platform for campaigns. If we succeed with this, and they seemed pretty convinced, this will be a big step forward in raising awareness of LabourStart’s usefulness to unions in the US.

Leap year: We had a bug in our code that meant that there was a problem displaying news stories from 29.2 on 1.3; this was quickly fixed.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Correspondents |
Feb
24
2020
0

Updates from Africa, Europe, Asia and North America

Albania: We make a modest donation to the mineworkers union, whose campaign we have been hosting for the last three months. The union is under considerable pressure and has few resources.

Egypt: A new campaign has been submitted, but there are some issues with it that need to be resolved before we can launch. We are waiting to hear back.

Germany: A huge victory in the Ameos campaign, which we close down — and report to our supporters in all languages, including a lonq quote from the union, Ver.di.

Ghana: Our new intern has begun posting news stories from Ghana and is working on other tasks to strengthen our relationship with the trade union movement there.

Philippines: At the request of the Education International, we extend the campaign for a few more months and send out a mailing with updates about ongoing repression in order to encourage people to sign up and spread the word. Very quickly, we pick up another 1,207 supporters.

UK: Eric has been invited to speak on two panels at the upcoming national conference of the teachers’ union NASUWT. He was also interviewed for the union’s magazine about international solidarity.

USA: We invest in a quarter-page advertisement in the programme for the upcoming Labor Notes conference.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Intern,Publicity |
Feb
14
2020
1

Victory in Germany – and other news from the last week

Germany: The workers at Ameos win a big victory and their union, Ver.di, thanked LabourStart for our short campaign in 13 languages, which had 7,968 supporters.  (It was our biggest active campaign.)  The company complained about the large number of protest emails they were receiving. The campaign has been closed down.

Ghana: We have a new intern, Benedicta, for the next few weeks, thanks to the Global Labour University. She will help particularly with growing LabourStart’s presence in Ghana.

Ukraine: We’re expecting to launch a new campaign shortly.

USA: We’re ordered an advertisement in the conference program for Labor Notes.

Campaigns: Our campaigns website was briefly down last weekend due to a power failure in Sheffield; this was quickly resolved.

Mailing lists: We imported 360 new subscribers (supporters of recent campaigns) to 10 lists, with the largest groups going to the German (175) and English (141) lists.

Partners: We had a meeting with the new head of communications at the International Transport Workers Federation in London. Following up with our meeting with the NASUWT, a British teachers’ union, the union has scheduled an interview with Eric Lee for next week, for the union’s international solidarity magazine.

Website redesign: We’re resumed this project, and have released the new version of the Portuguese site and are finishing up the Norwegian one. We’re also making progress on the redesign of the country news pages.

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 |
Dec
26
2019
2

Three new campaigns launched in December

Campaigns: We launched three new campaigns in December:

In support of dockworkers in Indonesia, at the request of the ITF. That campaign has 4,405 supporters and appears in 9 languages, with more on the way.
In support of Albanian mine workers at the request of a new and independent union there. That campaign has 5,951 supporters and appears in 13 languages, with more on the way.
In support of Polish retail workers, at the request of UNI. That campaign has 6,944 supporters and appears in 15 languages.

We closed our South Korea campaign after the workers won a clear victory. That was a short campaign and there were 5,377 supporters and the campaign appeared in 12 languages.
We asked if there was a need for a campaign in support a jailed trade union leader in Algeria and were told no. We also asked if LabourStart should be promoting an existing campaign regarding El Salvador but have received no reply.
On 10 December, Human Rights Day, we did a special website (and yes, I did notice that the year is wrong) and mailing (in English only), sharing this widely on our own site and across social media, to promote our existing campaigns.
We had a large number of bouncing target email addresses which were forwarded to us by our web hosts (and in some cases, via Gmail); we have now deleted these from campaigns. These are mostly companies trying to block our messages. We get around this using our petition format.

Correspondents: We amended the message new correspondents receive so that they are now encouraged to have a phone conversation with us early on. This is one of a number of steps we are taking to ensure that correspondents remain active.
We also fixed the ‘show news by correspondent’ script which was not correctly rendering non-Latin characters, as was pointed out by a new Iranian correspondent.
We added new correspondents in Australia and Iran.

Donations: We received a very generous donation from the IUF.

Labour History database: We fixed a problem that had previously blocked users from deleting duplicate entries.

Mailing lists: Today, we added 454 new subscribers from our campaign supporters on 26.12; the largest groups were English (301) and Polish (78). On 16.12, we imported 208 new subscribers, 148 of those for the English list. On 11.12, we imported 665 new subscribers; 266 of these were Korean, 219 English and 112 Polish. That’s a total of 1,327 new subscribers added in the last 15 days.

Media: We have begun work on a media list, with individuals tagged by country and language. Next year we will begin using this list to amplify our campaigns to read a wider audience.

News: We fixed the left column in the new version of the website to show country names in the correct language, where available. (This was already working on the top of the page, and on the bottom.) This may not work for all languages just yet. We also fixed the links on the top of the page and in the left column to go to the country page rather than the old ‘show_news’ page.

Translators: We sent an end-of-year thank you message to all 71 volunteer translators, who’ve translated some 20 campaigns for us throughout 2019.

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