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.

Dec
03
2019
--

New campaigns in Korea, Poland

I’m trying to keep up with weekly updates, so here’s what’s been happening over the last 6 days …

Korean campaign:
This campaign was launched four days ago and already has 3,950 supporters and it appears in 11 languages. The Korean language version has done very well thanks to the union there promoting it — it now has 568 supporters, or 14% of the total.

Poland campaign:
This was just received today from UNI Global Union and will go live later today or tomorrow morning.

Philippines campaign:
This is currently our largest campaign (by far) with 6,900 supporters, appearing in 16 languages. That’s a gain of over 200 new supporters in the last 6 days.

Global unions:
We had a long phone call with the incoming ITF director of communications and discussed how we will work together in future.
Following up on Eric’s visit to Brussels, the Education International made a generous donation.

Mailing lists:
We’ve asked for help, as we need something set up to allow scheduled mailings. Otherwise, everything is working very well with Sendy after a month on our new server.

Correspondents:
We sent out an appeal to our Australian list for volunteers; so far, three people have stepped forward.

Software:
We had a glitch on our show-campaigns-as-petition script, but this has now been fixed. This is a useful tool when we are blocked by a target employer or government, and need to present the signatures as a petition which can be printed out.

Nov
27
2019
0

6 days of activity

I didn’t want to be late again, so here’s a report on the last 6 days of activity at LabourStart.

Campaigns:

Philippines – This is now our largest current campaign, with 6,695 supporters. The campaign appears in 16 languages. The EI is doing good work promoting it through local affiliates.  Unusually, we did a followup mailing after one week to the entire English list, including to those who supported the campaign. As a result of these efforts, we picked up over 1,300 new supporters in just a few days. We also got the campaign and mailing translated into German by the Education International, and the mailing also went out to our small Czech and Slovak lists.

Kazakhstan – The Slovak mailing was sent out.

Korea – The ITF is proposing a new campaign to us; more details in a few days.

Poland – UNI has asked about a new campaign here; we are waiting for more details from them.

Hong Kong – There was a proposal for a campaign, but it is now on hold per the request of the local union.

Donations: BWI has made a generous donation, as promised. The other promised donations from global unions have not yet come through.

Mailing lists: We’ve fixed all our home pages that include links to sign up to the mailing list to now point to our new lists on our server. It should be pointed out that very few signups to the list take place this way; nearly all the new subscribers join by supporting a campaign.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising,Mailing list |
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.

Oct
18
2019
0

Half-way into the competition, we have more than 30 new LabourStart logos

New logo competition: We have already received more than 30 entries for our first-ever international logo competition and with two weeks to go, we expect to get quite a few more. We continue to remind people regularly about the deadline – 31 October. Our message and the page explaining the competition is now out in 16 languages.

Campaigns: We’re still waiting on news about a possible Colombia campaign. We had a Korea campaign proposed to us, but it turned out to be not suitable for LabourStart.  We are currently running two campaigns, one of which is set to close shortly.

World Day for Decent Work: We did our bit to promote this ITUC and GUF-supported event, with top global news stories on our site and publicity across social media.

Svensson prize: Once again, we publicised the deadline for nominations to the annual Arthur Svennson prize for international trade union rights — to our English and Norwegian lists.

Education International: Eric Lee has been invited to come to Brussels next month to speak with EI staff about online campaigning.

Tech problems: Our campaigns website was briefly down earlier this week — causing problems for our home page to display — but it was swiftly put back online by our provider.

Activists’ Toolbox: We did the third one, this time promoting Simplenote and Joplin — great apps for creating, well, simple notes on one’s phone or computer. We continue to get a certain amount of interest in these apps, and in the most recent mailing we generated a page on Simplenote to demonstrate how it can create web pages – and showing all our Toolbox articles in one place.

Donations: Four global union federations have responded to our appeal with generous donations in the last week.  We hope that more will follow suit in the coming days.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising,Site redesign |
Oct
05
2019
0

The last 3 weeks at LabourStart: New logo competition launched

Campaigns: We offered to help out with a new campaign on Algeria, and are awaiting news on a possible campaign in Colombia. We promoted a campaign by the BC Federation of Labour (in Canada) to our mailing list. We discussed possible campaigns in Peru and Trinidad.

Logo competition: We launched our first-ever competition to create a new LabourStart logo – here.

Mailing lists: Our imports to lists are no longer failing and we recently succeeded in importing 160 new subscribers to the English list, as well as smaller numbers to the other lists. We also created two new mailing lists – in Belarusian and Azerbaijani.

World Day for Decent Work: After promoting this global action, we did a small, unscientific poll on our Facebook page to which just 27 people responded. We asked people if they knew about the World Day for Decent Work and found that 81% had never heard of it.

Global Climate Strike: We publicised the ITUC’s statement to our English mailing list, eliciting several hostile responses (though on the main our readers supported us).

Global Solidarity Conference: We followed up with contacts in Hungary and the USA about possible events in 2020, but have no response yet.

Sep
13
2019
1

We continue upgrading our lists and site – and search for a union-friendly web browser

The last four weeks have seen some of us on vacation for part of that time, but here’s a summary of what was happening on LabourStart since mid-August.

Campaigns: We closed three our our campaigns which had been active for three months or more – in Poland, Pakistan and the Philippines. A new campaign has been proposed by trade unionists in Jordan – details coming soon. We also had appeals from Chile and Trinidad which we are following through on. We suggested a Hong Kong campaign to one of the global union federations but haven’t yet heard back. We assisted the IUF by extensively publicising their Karachi campaign.

Mailing lists: Persistent issues with our hosting of Sendy have now largely been fixed. We also looked into an alternative way of doing this using our own server. We ran into some issues now that we use CloudFlare to protect our site — it was briefly not possible for us to mass mailings, but we eventually fixed this.

Site re-design: Now 21 of our languages are showing the home page in the new format; we will make an effort to complete this project in the next few weeks.

Looking for a union-friendly web browser: As part of our ‘Activists’ Toolboxes’ that we’ve included in recent mailings to our English list, we’re probably going to promote one or more alternative web browsers. We wrote to three likely candidates asking about unionisation in their companies, but only one wrote back and we’ve asked them to post their statement (which is not bad) on their website. Until they do so we won’t do anything further. We didn’t ask Google (who own the Chrome browser) for obvious reasons

In the previous Activists’ Toolboxes we promoted two to-do lists (Toodledo and todo.txt) and a webmail service (Fastmail). Over 300 people checked out the former and 290 the latter. Let’s hope in doing this, we are helping some trade union activists to work online more efficiently — though of course we’d love to see higher numbers than these.

Donations: We received several large donations from Canadian unions.

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