Jul
07
2020
0

5 campaigns launched this month

Since 1 June, we’ve been busy.

Brazil: We launched a campaign in support of Santander workers at the request of UNI Global Union — one of five campaigns we launched in the last month. It is our most successful campaign ever in the Portuguese language, with more than 1,000 supporters in the first few days. It is also on track to be our largest current campaign, with 7,162 supporters and still counting.

Czech Republic: We launched a campaign in support of Ryanair workers at the request of the European Transport Workers Federation. It is also picking up a larger number of supporters than usual and today has 6,603 supporters.

India: We launched a campaign at the request of a number of global unions including the ITUC to protest the new attacks on workers’ rights.  It has 4,456 supporters today.

Kyrgyzstan: We’ve publicised the arrest of a trade union leader and are exploring the launch of a new campaign.

Malaysia: We launched a campaign in support of hospital workers, which has also now been translated into the Malay language.  The campaign has 3,618 supporters.

Mexico: We raised the possibility of doing a campaign in support of a jailed labour lawyer and are still waiting to hear if there is interest.

Palestine: We are in discussions about the launch of new campaign.

Peru: We launched a new campaign to urge Falabella (a Chilean multinational home retailer) to reinstate 22 workers who have been dismissed for asking for better protection against Covid-19, at the request of UNI.  This campaign has 6,055 supporters

Philippines: We shared the IUF campaign in support of Coca-Cola workers widely through mass mailings, our website and social media.

Poland: We are awaiting to hear back from UNI about suspending our campaign here, which has been live for some six months already.

USA: We sent out a mailing to our English list in support of a campaign by farm workers union FLOC.

Campaigns: We noticed that we were having a problem with our script that shows campaigns — it was taking very long to load campaigns. We fixed this by removing the live counter, and later replacing this with one that is updated manually a few times a day. Loading speeds are now much faster, and this is probably contributing to increased support for our campaigns.

Correspondents: Now that we have completely cleared the email backlog from the last few months (yes — inbox zero at last), there are no longer any individuals waiting to become LabourStart correspondents. A total of 43 new correspondents signed up in the first half of 2020, and of these 10 have already posted news.

Country names: This has been an issue for some time as quite a few countries have changed their names in the last few years (most recently, North Macedonia and eSwatini); we have developed a work plan to solve this issue across both our news and campaigns platforms.

Donations: The European Transport Workers Federation has made a generous donation.

Global Labour University: We have been approached to make a presentation about LabourStart to their students later this month.

Health & Safety: We have new Health & Safety news pages in many languages and these have been promoted across the net. We’ve encouraged all correspondents to make use of this, posting and tagging health & safety news.

Interns: We are working with the Industrial and Labour Relations school at Cornell University about getting interns and they are enthusiastic to work with us on this.

LinkedIn: Our Group there continues to grow, despite the fact that we do nothing to promote it, and we picked up over 60 new members this month. Most of what we post to Facebook and Twitter is also posted here.

Mailing lists: We imported 1,107 new subscribers during the last two weeks (and two more imports in early June as well), with large groups joining the English and Portuguese lists.

Jun
01
2020
0

Victory in Cambodia – and a new campaign in Belarus

Mikalaj Valadzko.

Mikalaj Valadzko.

Belarus: We launched a new campaign to protest the sacking of a union activist. It had over 5,300 supporters in the first week, appearing in 18 languages. This is the first campaign we’ve translated into Belarusian.

Cambodia: The biggest news in the last 12 days is the victory of our Cambodia campaign. Our sister Soy Sros was released from jail. IndustriALL, which sponsored the campaign, released a video featuring their general secretary, Valter Sanches, explicitly naming the LabourStart campaign.

India: We have raised the possibility of an online campaign with our global union partners.

Philippines: We closed the campaign, which had 9,044 supporters, in all 18 languages after six months. Unfortunately, it did not achieve the results we were hoping for.

Campaigns: We’re aware that the show campaign script is rendering pages very slowly and have taken the first steps to speed this up. We’ll do more work on this this week, as we cannot have long wait times to load these pages – we will lose people if we do.

LabourStart.tv: We had some issues with the domain name (again!) not working; IONOS support eventually took care of this.

Mailing list issues: Two of our recent mailings to the English list experienced some issues completing; I have posted a support request to Sendy.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,LabourStart.tv,Mailing list |
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.

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