The last two months

Due to some overseas travel and other issues, I’ve not been updating this blog — the last update was on 1 June.  So this will try to cover the last two months briefly.  I’ll try to keep the updates shorter and more frequent in future.


  • We just now launched a new campaign, together with PSI, in support of a jailed trade union leader in Mexico.  Translations are coming in and publicity happening.  After the first day, we have 2,750 supporters — a good start.
  • We closed the Belarus and Georgia campaigns after three months.


  • We’ve created the first version of a media list with a few dozen names.  All campaigns, events and conferences will now be sent to them.  Comrades with suggestions of who else should be on this list, please do let us know.
  • We have reinvigorated our Instagram account (485 followers) and signed up for a Threads account.  We continue to grow our followings on Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, LinkedIn and Mastodon.
  • We ran advertising campaigns on Facebook and Microsoft in support of our Belarus campaign, but they produced very disappointing results.

Next book:

  • Some of the participants in our recent Global Solidarity Conference have sent in texts of their presentations.  We have about 9,000 words and will probably post this online and perhaps as a print booklet as well.  The texts need to be edited.


  • We received a very generous donation from the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) and another from NUPGE in Canada.  In September we will resume our fundraising efforts.




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!


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.





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.


Less than 3 months to go – our Global Solidarity Conference opens on 28 April

Global Solidarity Conference:

We had an online meeting with our Georgian partners, and also calls with several more officers and staff at various global unions.

Eric Lee will be visiting Tbilisi to work on the conference for two weeks in March.

If you’d like to attend the conference (28-30 April in Tbilisi, Georgia) please sign up here:


Our appeal went out in six more languages, reaching another 6,916 people.

But we have still not received translations for some of our larger mailing lists.

BWI has made a very substantial donation.

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

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 |

Myrtle and Shane – Rest in Peace

We lost two good comrades last week, both of whom appeared at LabourStart conferences in recent years — Shane Enright in the UK and Myrtle Witbooi in South Africa.

Shane, who had been on the staff of the ITF, worked for Amnesty International UK and was in charge of the trade unions, where he did exemplary work over years.  Among other things, he arranged for our 2008 LabourStart conference in London to be hosted at the Amnesty headquarters.

Myrtle was the inspiring leader of the domestic workers movement, first in South African and later as President of the International Domestic Workers Federation.  She gave a memorable speech at LabourStart’s 2014 Global Solidarity Conference in Berlin and also spoke at our online International Women’s Day event last year.

May their memory be blessed.

In other news …

Global Solidarity Conference: Last week we had good calls with leaders of two global unions, and there’s a call next week with another. We’re getting very good feedback on the conference. Meanwhile, we now have a logo and a working registration form in English and Georgian, and we have a page that shows all registrants.

Fundraising: We did an appeal to all LabourStart correspondents yesterday — so far, with minimal results.


Brazil, Tbilisi, Donations

The news of the attempted fascist coup in Brazil was the focus of some work this week as we sought out, and found, statements by global unions and others and shared these very widely both on our news pages and across social media.

Inevitably, much of the work in the last week took place behind the scenes as we prepare for our upcoming Global Labour Conference in Tbilisi. In recent days we scheduled or held calls with global unions and other partners regarding content and participation. We also discussed with our Georgian partners the issue of a budget and logo. Work is nearly done on a registration form which will work in Georgian and English (and probably Russian as well).

We also had some luck with fundraising this week as our global union and European partners were once again generous in their donations to LabourStart.

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

2023 begins …

Global Solidarity Conference: We had another meeting with the Georgian trade unions and agreed on a conference theme and the next practical steps.

Today in Labour History: This wonderful feature on our home page (the work mainly of Derek) doesn’t get enough attention. Today we promoted it across all our social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Telegram and Mastodon.

Fundraising: We have reached out to all the global unions, including some which have never previously donated to us before, in an attempt to improve our financial situation as the new year begins.

Programming: We continue to fix things in the software that drives LabourStart.

A correspondent pointed out this week that one could not change the date of a new story to ‘2022’ — this has now been fixed.

In addition, the RSS newswire is now working correctly for German, French and Norwegian; previously only the Spanish version had been fixed. All the others will soon be working as well.

New Year’s Resolutions: We shared this graphic widely across social media:




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 |

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