Ads, Arabic, Cambodia, Campaigns, Fundraising, Global Solidarity Conference followup, 17,109 news stories – another quiet week at LabourStart

Advertising: We had ad campaigns on both Microsoft and Facebook but with disappointing results, so both have been suspended.  We need to have a re-think about how we promote our Belarus campaign more effectively.

Arabic: We’ve migrated our Arabic language mailing list from Mailjet to a different provider, as Mailjet handled right-to-left languages quite poorly.  And we did our first Arabic language mailing for a long time — in support of the Belarus campaign.  Thank you Assaf for the translation!

Cambodia: We shared Eric Lee’s article about the jailing of a woman trade union leader — but so far we have not been asked to help with a campaign (we did reach out).  The Australian Council of Trade Unions already has an online campaign going.  The article was also posted by the Svensson Foundation in Norway.

Campaigns – Belarus: The campaign is now in Arabic.  The campaign has now also been translated into Polish, but we are awaiting the translation of the mass mailing as well.

Campaigns – Georgia: The Wolt campaign is now in Polish.  Waiting for the mass mailing text to be translated.

Fundraising: The last translated fundraising mailings have now gone out — to our Portuguese, Hungarian and Polish lists.  So far, the mailing went out in 12 languages, but unfortunately it has not yet been translated into German.

Global Solidarity Conference: The Georgian Trade Union Confederation released an excellent video which we’ve shared widely. We also wrote to all the conference participants asking those who spoke in plenaries or workshops to share their texts for a possible book.  (If we don’t publish a book, we will find a way to share the texts online.)

News: As we reported today across social media, LabourStart shared 17,109 news stories in the first five months of 2023 — that’s an average of 3,421 per month, or over 113 per day.  Thank you to all our volunteer correspondents!


Belarus, Poland campaigns

In the last week …

Belarus campaign: We’ve launched an ad campaign on Facebook following a small one on Microsoft (1,716 views of the ad, 15 clicks, no new supporters added). The Facebook ads, after two days online, were shown 9,833 times and 218 people clicked on them. The campaign currently has 6,475 supporters. So far, only one new supporter has been added through this advertising campaign. The campaign has now been translated into Arabic. Significant publicity was given to the campaign at this week’s ETUC congress in Berlin, but only a very small number of delegates there signed up to support it.

Poland IKEA campaign: This campaign has now been suspended after three months online.  We have not yet heard back from Solidarnosc on this.

Written by admin in: Campaigns |

28 days later …

The LabourStart Global Solidarity Conference is now behind us.  There’s a summary of what happened here.

In addition, in the last four weeks …

  • Mailing lists: We’ve had problems with right-to-left languages using MailJet.  We’ve now tested Hebrew on a new service and it seems to work well.  We’ll migrate our Arabic and Farsi lists there soon.
  • Finances: The conference cost us considerably more than we were planning (unexpected costs for hiring the hall, interpretation equipment rental, etc) and we did a successful emergency fundraiser to cover those costs.
  • Advertising: To publicise our Belarus campaign we’ve started our first paid advertising campaign in a very long time.  We are initially using Microsoft, but have also applied to use Facebook again.  That campaign is now up to 6,420 but it could be much higher.
  • Georgia campaign: Just before the conference opened we launched a campaign in support of Wolt workers in Georgia.  Today it has 5,080 supporters.
  • Upcoming campaigns: We are expecting campaign proposals shortly from unions in Namibia and Israel.





7 days to go …

With a lot going on, ironically, this will have to be a very short summary of everything that’s happened so far in April.

Global Solidarity Conference:  With just 7 days to go, we have a packed schedule and 404 registrants from 80 countries.  Not all of those people will come, as many are experiencing difficulties getting visas, while others registered thinking that this was to be an online conference.  Nevertheless, we expect hundreds of attendees.

New campaign – Belarus: To mark one year since the crackdown on unions by the regime, we have launched a major campaign with the support of the Belarusian unions and global unions too.  In the first 24 hours online, the campaign picked up over 2,000 supporters and many translations have come in.

New campaign – Georgia: On the same day, we launched a campaign in supporting of striking couriers in Georgia.  This campaign coincides with our conference in Tbilisi so we expect to be able to do some on-the-ground, face-to-face solidarity.

Please do what you can to share and promote those campaigns — and see you in Tbilisi!

Written by admin in: 2023 conference,Campaigns |

28 days to go

Global Solidarity Conference 2023

With just 4 weeks to go, the number of people registering to attend the conference is growing by the hour.

Right now, we have 252 registrants from 66 countries, and of those 219 are from outside Georgia.

It’s possible that some of those people will not received visas or the financial support they need to come, but we can already see that this will be a large conference.

Plus we have new confirmed plenary speakers and workshops.

Belarus: We closed our current campaign as we are planning to launch a new one shortly.

This campaign had 8,134 supporters and appeared in 17 languages.

Our comrades remain in jail.

Israel: We gave extensive coverage to the unprecedented general strike in Israel this week.

And we have just learned that two representatives of the Histadrut will be coming to our conference as well.

Written by admin in: 2023 conference,Campaigns |

Global Solidarity Conference – just 8 weeks to go!

Our latest graphic advertisement for the conference, shared widely today on social media.

Global Solidarity Conference: This conference is continuing to attract new registrants and new ideas for content (workshops and plenary sessions). As of today, we have 142 people registered from 50 countries; of those 23 are from Georgia and 119 from abroad. We expect these numbers to grow siginificantly in the next few weeks. Eric will be in Georgia from 12 March for two weeks and will work closely with the Georgian Trade Union Confederation to ensure the conference’s success.

Poland IKEA campaign: This campaign had 6,242 supporters last week; this has grown to 6,704. We are still missing translations into some key languages, including German and French.

Donations: The Norwegian union Industri Energi has made another very generous donation to LabourStart.

Campaigns: With the agreement of the union in Canada (ACTRA), we have closed down the campaign there.

Mailing lists: Boosted by the Poland IKEA campaign, we added 319 new subscribers to our lists this week — with 209 of those going to the English list and the Polish list growing by 67.

Programming: We continue to make small improvements to the functioning of LabourStart. On the page showing which correspondents have posted news today, we used to show only the total number for this month — now it’s also showing the total for the whole year so far.  In the first two months of 2023, our volunteer correspondents posted over 6,500 news stories.

Written by admin in: 2023 conference,Campaigns,Mailing list |

Trade unionists from 44 countries are coming to Tbilisi

Global Solidarity Conference: We continue to sign up new people to attend. As of today, we have over 130 registrants from 44 countries — an increase of nearly 50% since last week. The conference website now appears in a Georgian language edition. We’ve now sent out the first weekly newsletter to conference registrants.

Poland IKEA campaign: This campaign has taken off in the last week. We currently have 6,242 supporters and the campaign appears in 12 languages.

Internationalisation: It turns out that we weren’t translating into French the names of all Canadian provinces, but this has now been fixed.

Kazakhstan campaign: As I reported last week, we have now closed this campaign after a very long time, and we’ve now received a report from the union which we can share.




New campaign launched in support of Polish union leader illegally sacked by IKEA

Sorry to have missed a week, but here’s the news from LabourStart in the last two weeks (since 3 February):

New campaign: We launched a new campaign in support of Solidarnosc in Poland – one of their leaders at IKEA has been illegally sacked by the company. This campaign took off very quickly, with over 3,200 supporters in less than 24 hours. It is our first campaign in a few months and it looks like our supporters are keen to help.

Old campaigns: We closed our Marlboro campaign in Turkey (with the permission of DISK). We’ve also closed two very old campaigns in Kazakhstan and Pakistan after several unsuccessful attempts to get news from the unions. In generals our campaigns run for three months, no more. We don’t want ‘stale’ campaigns that no one signs up for on our home page – it sends the wrong message to employers and governments.

Global Solidarity Conference: This is now exactly ten weeks (70 days) away. Over 100 people have already registered and we have a conference website which are updating every day. Please register there if you’ve not yet done so, and please share that link widely. Esther Lynch, general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, has agreed to speak at the conference.

Correspondents: We have an ongoing problem with people signing up to be correspondents, and then never posting news. Last week, we fixed a script which shows all new correspondents in the last two years and we identified 13 of them as having never posted a news story — and then wrote to all 13 of them. This will be done regularly. We should not give up on people who may simply not know how, or have forgotten how to login.

Donations: We received a generous donation from EPSU, PSI’s European region.  Donations from our supporters are not has high as we would have liked because the mass mailing asking for donations has only gone out to a small number of lists.   We don’t yet have translations yet for some of our major languages including French, German, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian and Turkish.  All of those lists have 1,000 or more subscribers and it would be very helpful if we could get those translations done.

Canada: Pat Bulmer has replaced Derek Blackadder as our coordinator in Canada. Good luck, Pat and to Derek — thanks for decades of fantastic work there.


3 months to go: Global Solidarity Conference in Tbilisi

Global Solidarity Conference 2023: Much of the work in the last week has consisted of online meetings with leaders of global unions and others regarding content for the conference — and participants.  We have a growing list of likely workshops, many of which sound absolutely amazing.

We also have a logo (to the left).

Philippines campaign: We closed this after three months online; the campaign had 5,049 supporters.

We have asked the union for an update.

Fundraising: An appeal to our English list (and two other lists) netted about £2,000.

Translations have come in for some other languages and these will go out shortly.


Written by admin in: 2023 conference,Campaigns,Fund-raising |

Last post from 2022

The final week of 2022 was destined to be a relatively quiet one as many union offices shut down for the holiday.

Nevertheless, we did a few things at LabourStart …

  • We sent out an end-of-year mailing to all our correspondents. This encouraged them to contact us if they’re having difficulty logging in to post news, to help recruit new correspondents and to publicise our news page more widely.
  • Our mailing lists grew this week as we added 52 more subscribers from the new campaign supporters.
  • We did more work to publicise our Belarus campaign across social media. That campaign now has 7,938 supporters — a gain of 50 in the last week. We also shared widely the ITUC statement condemning the sentences handed down to the jailed leaders of the trade union movement in that country. (Unfortunately the ITUC has not yet translated the statement, so it’s only in English.)
  • We continued work fixing LabourStart’s back-end. This week that included dealing with a bug in the caption for our photo-of-the-day feature, as well as problems with character encoding on our home page for some Spanish-language stories. We continued work creating new and fixed RSS feeds for a number of countries. Unfortunately, not all of these yet function correctly, but we’re continuing the work.
  • We continued this week with discussions with our partners in Georgia in the run-up to our upcoming Global Solidarity Conference at the end of April.

In 2023 we’re looking forward to working harder and smarter to defend workers’ rights and rebuild union power all over the world. Thanks to all of you for all that you do — and happy new year!

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