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 |
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.

Nov
20
2018
0

November update: 2 campaigns launched, we revitalise LS in Spanish, German, Swedish, etc

Brazil: Following the election, we promoted the EI story about Brazil as a top global news story and across social media.

China: We promoted the story about a Chinese firm that forced workers to eat cockroaches and drink urine – as a top global news story, and on social media. Two officials at the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions signed up as LabourStart correspondents.

Germany: We renewed our Twitter account in German, and are posting to it every day. We now follow well over 400 other accounts and some of those have started following back, and as a result, this month we’ve picked up about 20 new followers. It’s a beginning.

India: We shared the ITUC story on erosion of labour laws in India as a top global news story and widely on social media. We also participated in a London meeting of various NGOs and campaigning organisations in the UK in support of workers in the tea plantations of Assam; the organisers of the event publicly thanked LabourStart for promoting their campaign targetting UK tea companies.

Indonesia: We shared the IUF story on Coca-Cola struggle as a top global news story and widely on social media.

Kazakhstan: We launched a new campaign at the request of many global and national unions to protest the repression of trade unionists here. In the first 5 days online, the campaign has over 3,600 supporters and appears in 11 languages.

Philippines: We shared a story about a trade unionist being killed in the Philippines on social media.

Spain: We are in discussion with one of the national trade union centres about a possible campaign, to be launched soon.

Sweden: We resume doing mailings to our Swedish list now that our campaigns are once again being translated into Swedish. We now have 7 volunteer translators for Swedish.

Thailand: We launched a new campaign at the request of IndustriALL to protest the behaviour of Mitsubishi Electric. After 12 days online, the campaign is in 13 languages and has over 5,450 supporters.

Turkey: We shared the ITUC story on the murder of a trade union leader as a top global news story and widely on social media. Our campaign in support of workers at Istanbul’s new airport, launched six weeks ago, is now in 23 languages, and has almost 8,700 supporters.

UK: We had a long meeting at Unite the Union’s headquarters to discuss future joint work. We created a meme in support of RMT strikers on the London Underground and post it on social media. It is very widely shared.

Finances: We thanked TUAC for their generous donation. Amazon has begun to pay us — finally — for books we have published using their CreateSpace platform and Kindle.

Internationalisation: We’re getting our campaigns framework translated into Kurdish and Nepalese and we had a campaign translated for the first time in a long time into Arabic. The Spanish home page now has all country names translated into Spanish, where we are now showing top global news stories, as we do in some other languages. Derek has also begun tweeting in Spanish.

Mailing lists: We added 93 new subscribers, who opted-in from campaigns.

News: We fixed the link that allows correspondents to change their default language and country, and tested it.

Oct
24
2018
0

Istanbul airport campaign coming up to 8,000 supporters and 20 languages

It’s been another busy time here at LabourStart over the last 10 days.

Australia: We promoted the ACTU’s nationwide protests as a top global news story on LabourStart, and across social media. Our Australian Twitter account had been suspended by the company, but we’ve now managed to get it reopened.

Global: Shared widely on social media and made a top global story out of the IFJ campaign for a UN convention to protect journalists.

Iran: We shared an Education International story about repression of teacher trade unionists widely on social media. We also shared widely an International Transport Workers Federation story about attacks on transport workers.

Russia: We closed our campaign in support of Professor Maxim Balashov after three months. The campaign ended with 9,456 messages sent in 17 languages.

Saudi Arabia: We publicised the story about Jamal Khashoggi from the IFJ on social media.

Turkey: We begin a second round of followup mailings to our Turkish and French lists to promote this campaign, which now appears in 19 languages and has just under 8,000 supporters. We’ve been working to get global trade unions to share the link to the campaign.

Turkmenistan: We shared widely the IUF statement supporting a large global campaign on this country.

UK: We helped the London Labour Film Festival promote their upcoming special preview showing of the new film “Peterloo”.


Fundraising: We’ve continued with a series of emails to leading global, regional and national unions asking for their support to mark our 20th year.

Mailing list: We continued with monthly promotions to social media, hoping to grow the English mailing list which is currently at 80,860 subscribers. We imported 203 new addresses from our campaign supporters to 14 of our mailing lists; 80 are for the English list and a record-breaking 70 for the Turkish one.

Site redesign: We wrote to all correspondents asking for their “shopping list” of things they’d like to see improved on LabourStart, and have begun to collate these.

Oct
04
2018
--

Relaunching our Finnish language campaigns – and more

It’s been another busy week.

Finland: Eight people responded to our appeal for volunteer translators as we attempted to revive our campaigns in Finnish; one of the campaigns has now been translated (see below) — our first Finnish language campaign in a long time.

Germany: We gave wide publicity to the Amazon workers strike, both as a top story on LabourStart and on social media — and a day later Jeff Bezos raised pay world-wide. Coincidence?

Global: We gave extensive publicity to the upcoming World Day for Decent Work (WDDW).

Iran: Our campaign in support of jailed teacher trade unionist Mohammed Habibi is now up to 10,484 supporters — and is our first campaign with more than 1,000 French-language supporters. This week it appeared in Finnish, making a total of 19 languages.

Isle of Man: We posted our first news story ever from this country.

Korea: We gave wide publicity to the story about Samsung’s anti-union activities, on social media.

Nigeria: We gave extensive publicity to the ITUC’s coverage of the general strike in this country.

Russia: We reviewed which languages were not yet covered in our campaign in support of Professor Balashov and our translators in Hebrew, Japanese and Turkish quickly responded with new translations. This campaign is slowly moving towards 10,000 supporters, with 9,424 so far. We’ve asked the Education International for help in promoting this campaign to their affiliates.

Somalia: We continued a dialogue with a Somali trade unionist, introducing him to the institutions of the global labour movement which might be willing to help build independent, democratic unions in his country.

Switzerland: We participated in a meeting of the network of Global Labour Institutes held last weekend in Geneva.

USA: We shared Bernie Sanders’ video responding to Jeff Bezos’ announcement of pay increases for Amazon workers.


Finances: IndustriALL and the Education International made generous donations this week.

Mailing lists: Our Dutch and German lists grew by 21 names this week.

Site redesign: We will have a meeting later today with our friends at Outlandish, a cooperative that specialises in web design. More details coming soon.

Sep
26
2018
3

10,000 supporters and still growing …

 

Mohamed Habibi.

Our campaign in support of jailed Iranian teacher trade unionist Mohammed Habibi has now broken through the 10,000 barrier and as of this morning, we have 10,258 signed up.

This is largely due to the translation into German which came in this week. The fact that we have reached 10,000 — and it’s been a while since we had a campaign this big — was publicised widely on social media.

In an attempt to boost support for what is clearly a campaign that has captured the imagination of trade unionists, we wrote to our volunteer translators in five major languages in which the campaign has not yet appeared — Dutch, Farsi, Finnish, Swedish, and Korean. The Dutch version was swiftly translated; but our Finnish translator no longer has the time. We haven’t heard back yet from the others.

So we wrote to the 459 Finns on our English language mailing list to ask for volunteers, and 4 people stepped forward. We hope the two active campaigns (Iran, Russia) will appear very soon in Finnish, as our Finnish language mailing list has not been active for seven months — and we have over 600 people on that list.

In other news …

eSwatini (formerly Swaziland): We shared the ITUC statement on anti-union repression widely on social media.

France: With the approval of the ITF, we closed our campaign in support of railway workers last week; the campaign had 7,201 supporters and was online longer than most, for just over 4 months.

Global: We promoted the ITUC story about the October 7 World Day for Decent Work as a top global news story and to social media – but cannot post, for some reason, to our main Facebook page at the moment.

Russia: Our campaign in support of Professor Maxim Balashov continues — it’s one of only two active campaigns at the moment — and currently has 9,307 supporters. With some further pushes from us, this too can be a 10,000 supporter campaign.

Somalia: We’re following up with our contact here, with suggestions how to build a new trade union movement in the country, starting with contacts with global unions.

Donations: We received cheques recently from two branches of a major British trade union. Also, both the Education International and IndustriALL have pledged donations this week.

Mailing lists: We added just 5 new subscribers to our German list this week. We publicised the MailChimp signup form on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as we do regularly.

Sep
20
2018
0

We’re down to just 3 active campaigns, as XPO campaign closes

Global: We closed the XPO campaign which ran for 3 months; it had 7,522 supporters. We don’t know what effect, if any, our campaign had; we’ve asked the ITF for an update.

Somalia: We met with a Somali trade unionist returning to his country after many years of activism in the Canadian labour movement; he’s asked for our help and we’ve offered to put him in touch with people and organisations that can be helpful.

Turkey: We gave extensive publicity to the IUF’s Cargill campaign on social media. We also gave extensive publicity to the ITUC statement on recent anti-union activity in the country.

Campaigns: We reviewed which translations are missing and followed up with key translators. At least one of our campaigns will rise to more than 10,000 supporters if we can get a German translation done.

Finances: IndustriALL has generously offered to donate again.

Mailing lists: We imported another 36 new subscribers, supporters of our recent campaigns – most of them in English.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising,Mailing list |
Aug
22
2018
0

Nearly 800 more supporters for our latest campaign in the last two weeks, and two more campaigns in the pipelinee

August is generally a slow month for the international trade union movement, and this is reflected in the lack of new campaigns. Here is what’s happened to our existing campaigns this month — the number in brackets is the total from 17 days ago. Note very significant gains for the Russian and XPO campaigns.

Russia: Union-busting at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology – 9,050 [8,278] +772
Norway: Sekkingstad and Sund, stop union busting! – 7,449 [7,408] +41
XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 7,406 [7,155] +251
Korea: Oracle workers on strike – 7,272 [7,223] +49
France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,188 [7,156] +32
USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union – 6,755 [6,743] +12
Australia: Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers – 6,412 [6,377] +35

In other news this month …

Brazil: It seems like we are about to launch a campaign here — stay tuned.

Europe: We boosted coverage of the Ryanair strike both on our news pages and on social media.

France: We asked the ITF for permission to close our French railway workers’ campaign, now running for more than three months. As you can see above, very few new supporters are signing up.

Germany: We promoted a story on social media about the youth section of the trade union federation DGB reiterating their opposition of boycotts of Israel.

Indonesia: We promoted the IUF’s Bali campaign in a mailing to LabourStart’s English list, and throughout social networks.

Iran: We publicised a new story about repression targetting teacher trade unionists.

Israel: We widely publicised a story about a big nurses strike across the country.

Kenya: We promoted a story about a tear gas attack on striking hospital workers on our news page and on social networks.

Romania: We gave extensive publicity to an IFJ story about attacks on journalists.

South Africa: We gave prominence to a story about the AMCU threatening to shut down the platinum mining business.

Sri Lanka: We’ve been approached by a global union federation and are about to launch a campaign targetting an employer in this country.

USA: We promoted widely a Boston Globe story about the increasing use of lockouts by employers. We also promoted the story about unions winning the referendum in Missouri, defeating a “right to work” (for less) law.

Campaigns: We discovered a problem with the code that made some of our pages appear to be security risks for users; now fixed.  It looks like we are about to launch two new campaigns — details above.

Donations: We received a generous donation from the steelworkers in Canada.

Mailing list: We promoted signups to our mailing list on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We added 34 new subscribers to our lists. We also completed posting translations of texts so that when people support one of our campaigns in any language, but fail to check the box to sign up to our mailing list, they receive a reminder on the landing page.

Publicity: At the request of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR), we submitted an article on online campaigning for their quarterly journal International Union Rights.

Social networks: We did a mailing to our English list encouraging people to sign up to our pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. As a result, we picked up 181 new likes on Facebook and 141 new followers on Twitter. Our group on LinkedIn, oddly, seems have gotten smaller.

Jul
20
2018
1

Russia campaign takes off

Our campaign in support of Professor Maxim Balashov and the trade union at MIPT in Moscow is growing very rapidly, thanks to a surge of support from teachers’ unions in many countries. It is our first campaign in some time to exceed 8,000 supporters, having picked up more than 2,000 new supporters in the last week.

We’ve also seen significant growth for our Norway, Korea, and XPO campaigns. (Growth for the last two is due to followup mailings sent out this week to our English list.) We’ve scheduled a similar mailing in support of the Australia campaign which will go out this evening and should jump-start that effort too, and probably bring it up to over 6,000 supporters.

Here’s a snapshot of how our campaigns are doing – the number in brackets is where stood a week ago:

Russia: Union-busting at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology – 8,006 [5,996]
Norway: Sekkingstad and Sund, stop union busting! – 7,276 [6,869]
France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,150 [7,141]
Turkey: After nearly a year on the picket lines, it’s time for DPDHL to negotiate with the union – 6,733 [6,714]
USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union – 6,727 [6,717]
Korea: Oracle workers on strike – 6,548 [5,878]
XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 6,488 [5,503]
Australia: Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers – 5,174 [5,155]
Shell – Stop cheating contract workers! – 3,562 [3,515]
Canada: Solidarity With Women Striking for a Living Wage! – 2,014 [1,884]

In other news this week …

Europe: We had extensive coverage of the Amazon strike in Spain, Germany and Portugal, both on our news pages and in social media. The strikes were timed to coincide with Amazon’s Prime Day.

Georgia: We publicised the terrible mine disaster widely on social networks.

Germany: A belated fundraising mailing produced good results, with some 26 donors giving an average of €27 each.

India: We promoted both with a mailing and on social media Traidcraft’s campaign in support of tea workers — after getting the green light from the IUF, who have also promoted this campaign.

Turkey: We promoted the IUF’s new Cargill campaign on social media.

Campaigns: We had a problem that some of our campaigns included graphics (union logos) on insecure web pages; this broke our page and some people were seeing warnings in their browsers. There were 21 campaign pages in various languages that had this problem; all of them are now fixed.

Correspondents: We signed up four new correspondents from Australia, Ireland, Liberia and Ukraine. We wrote to 28 of our correspondents in Australia appealing to them to become more active.

Events calendar: The script to delete events had been broken; we have now fixed this.

Mailing lists: We asked our translators to translate 18 words of text to encourage people to join our mailing lists – in the next few days this will be added to our campaign software, and should boost the numbers joining our lists (we already do this in English). This is a followup to changes we had to make in accordance with GDPR which bans us from automatically adding people to our lists. This week we were able to add 55 people to our lists, 42 of them to the English list.

Jul
13
2018
0

Big gains for new Norway and Russia campaigns

Here’s a snapshot of how our campaigns are doing – the number in brackets is where stood 8 days ago, when I last reported to you:

France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,141 [7,124]
Norway: Sekkingstad and Sund, stop union busting! – 6,869 [3,966]
USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union – 6,717 [6,698]
Turkey: After nearly a year on the picket lines, it’s time for DPDHL to negotiate with the union – 6,714 [6,680]
Russia: Union-busting at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology – 5,996 [-]
Korea: Oracle workers on strike – 5,878 [5,722]
XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 5,503 [5,452]
Australia: Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers – 5,155 [5,063]
Shell – Stop cheating contract workers! – 3,515 [3,065]
Canada: Solidarity With Women Striking for a Living Wage! – 1,884 [1,740]

The Norway campaign seems poised to become our largest current campaign very soon. The Russia campaign picked up just under 6,000 supporters in one week, so it’s also doing quite well. The Shell campaign is continuing to run in English only, and for slightly longer than planned, and has picked up 450 new supporters in its “overtime” run.

In other news …

Brazil: UNI’s story demanding justice for Lula is shared widely on social networks.

Colombia: We shared the Education International’s story about repression of trade unionists widely on social networks.

New Zealand: We promote the strike by 30,000 widely on social networks.

Spain: We share the story of the Amazon workers strike widely on social networks.

Advertising: We haven’t paid for a Facebook ad for some time, so this week we did this to promote the new Russian campaign. So far we spent $70.51, our ad was shown to 11,389 people, and 113 seem to have clicked on it. Next time we’ll add our own code to see precisely how many people support a campaign due to advertising on Facebook.

Donations: Another Norwegian union makes a very generous donation to us. Another branch of Unite the Union in the UK also makes a donation. And we belatedly do the fundraising mailing to our German list — and get a substantial number of small donations as a result.

Events calendar: We fix the script to delete old events, which had not been working for some time.

Facebook group and page: We had quite a backlog of people asking to join the group; we’ve now mobilised more people to be admins so this should be resolved.  We add a couple more admins to the page as well, to ensure that we have fresh content all the time.

Mailing lists: We add 175 campaign supporters in 10 languages to the lists.

Tweeting our campaigns: We’ve had complaints that the Twitter link on our campaigns landing page wasn’t working; we did extensive testing on multiple browsers and operating systems and could not reproduce the problem.

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