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.

Jun
07
2019
0

Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines – we focus on Asia this month

Pictured: LabourStart editor Eric Lee with leaders of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress last week in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia: LabourStart editor Eric Lee spent several days in Malaysia, working together with the Ethical Trading Initiative on a new project they have started on migrant labour. We met with leaders of Malaysian unions, including the Malaysian Trades Union Congress, a number of pro-labour NGOs, a social democratic MP, activists from the Malaysian Socialist Party, and representatives of the global union federations BWI and IndustriALL in the country.

Pakistan campaign: At the request of the ITF, we launched a campaign in supported of 8 sacked dock workers in Karachi. After about a week online, it had just over 5,200 supporters and appeared in 13 languages.

Philippines campaign: At the request of BWI, we launched a campaign against the giant transnational company Holcim. After less than a week online, it had over 4,700 supporters and appeared in 14 languages.

Email service provider: Our current provider is MailChimp and it’s quite expensive. We are currently exploring alternatives, and have migrated some of our lists over to Sendy, a much less costly solution, using a hosting service in Belgium that specialises in this.

Telegram: Following the revelations about hacking that targetted WhatsApp — and specifically targetted activists — we set up a public LabourStart channel on the more secure Telegram platform, a closed private group for members of our Executive, and will soon announce a public discussion group using Telegram as well.

Arthur Svensson prize: LabourStart, which won this prestigious Norwegian trade union award in 2016, has been invited back to Oslo for a ceremony in June to honour the current recipient.

Written by ericlee in: Campaigns,Events,Mailing list,Publicity |
Feb
28
2019
0

February: a victory in Korea, a new campaign in Jordan

Bangladesh: We promoted a story about the Bangladesh Accord (IndustriALL) as a top global labour news story, and across social media.

Belgium: The transport workers union got in touch and interview Eric Lee for their online and print magazine.

Iran: We publicised as a top global news story, and across social media, the arrest of Mokhtar Asadi, a teacher in Iranian Kurdistan. We also shared the IUF’s story about Amnesty International and Iran on social media, and as a top global news story.

Jordan: We launched a campaign at the request of the ITUC and Solidarity Center. After less than two weeks online, the campaign appears in 15 languages, and has 5,270 supporters.

Kazakhstan: We closed one of our campaigns after three months online. We are still waiting for a report from the campaign sponsors.

Namibia: We made the mine strike story a top global news story.

Nigeria: We gave extensive publicity to an ITUC news story about Nigeria.

North Korea: We made a story about 150,000 forced labourers into top global labour news story and shared it widely on social media.

South Korea: Victory in our campaign together with the KPTU, who wrote to thank us. We publicised the victory across social media and with a mailing to our English list (the campaign was only translated into a few languages in the few days it was online).

Thailand: We closed one of our campaigns after three months online. We are still waiting for a report from the campaign sponsors.

Ukraine: We shared the story of the Ukrainian miners’ protest underground as a top global news story and across social media.

USA: We posted a story about a big retail strike in New England across social media.

Venezuela: We promoted the PSI statement as a stop global news story and across social media.

Zimbabwe: We posted widely about the detention of the ITUC Africa secretary general and his subsequent release.

Correspondents: We added new correspondents from Italy, the USA, Russia, and Guyana. We also posted on social media an appeal for people to signup to be correspondent (producing no results). We published online the guidelines for correspondents in Italian. We’ve received a translation of the interface for correspondence in Spanish but it needs some more work.

Mailing lists: We posted an appeal to recruit new subscribers across social media. We added 674 new campaign supporters to the lists; there was considerable growth to our Thai list this time.

Women: We wrote to all correspondents about International Women’s Day – as I did last year, using almost the same text.

Nov
02
2018
0

Reviving our campaigns and mailings in Italian, Polish, Arabic and other languages

Brazil: We gave extensive publicity to the IUF’s powerful editorial on the eve of the elections.

Canada: We did a mailing to our Canadian list promoting CLIFF, the labour film festival.

Italy: As we were having some difficulties getting our campaigns and mailings translated, we invited 819 Italian speakers on our English mailing list to volunter to help with translations — and have been inundated with many positive responses.

Poland: We did something similar to the Polish list, and now have translators and translations of our campaigns after a very long time.

Spain: We have been approached by Spanish unions about launching a campaign and hope to do this shortly.

Turkey: We shared Human Rights Watch’s story about the Istanbul airport struggle widely. At the moment, our campaign has 8,459 supporters and appears in 21 languages, with more coming. This campaign too should rise to above 10,000 supporters.

USA: We shared Unite Here’s Marriott campaign to social networks. We also shared widely a news story from the USA about journalists in new media who are organising and voting to strike.

Campaigns: We’ve improved the ability to share campaigns by email with friends in English. The French version is also being prepared now. We also now have translations of a basic text to use 7 days after a campaign launch, when writing a followup message to people who haven’t yet opened our mailing — this is now in English, French, Italian, Russian and Turkish, and our campaigns will now always receive a boost after a week in those languages. (Previously, we did this only in English.) Our attempts to find new volunteer translators for our campaigns in Arabic has not yet resulted in anything concrete, despite writing directly to more than 2,000 Arabic speakers on our English list.

Mailing lists: We added just 45 new subscribers to our lists, most of them for our Turkish list.

Articles: We shared Eric’s article from the current issue of International Union Rights magazine, on the subject of online campaigning as a top news story on LabourStart and on social networks.

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.

Jun
19
2018
1

New campaigns, reviving our events calendar, donations, privacy and more

First of all, a snapshot of how our campaigns are doing:

1 XPO: Time to talk about your behaviour – 4,730
2 Korea: Oracle workers on strike – 3,503
3 Turkey: After nearly a year on the picket lines, it’s time for DPDHL to negotiate with the union – 5,373
4 Australia: Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers – 134
5 USA: Time for Wendt to negotiate with the union – 6,563
6 France: Rail unions fight against privatisation – 7,051

Australia: With so many campaigns launching at the same time, we’ve held off on promoting the Esso campaign here, but will be doing so this week. It was very important in this case, as with all campaigns, to see evidence that our partners have been informing their own members and affiliates and not simply relying on LabourStart’s own base of supporters.

Caribbean: We offered our support for a campaign backing bank workers in their dispute with RBC, but have not yet heard back.

India: A massive strike by power workers which has been announced gets spread around a lot on our website and social media. We also add a new correspondent from India.

North Korea: We promote our North Korea news page on social media to coincide with the Trump-Kim summit, raising the question of workers’ rights.

Russia: We gave extensive publicity to the BWI article about deaths of construction workers who built the stadiums for the FIFA World Cup.

South Korea: We went live with the campaign in support of striking Oracle workers to coincide with the UNI Global Union congress in Liverpool.

Spain: We were asked to submit an article about LabourStart for the union magazine Noticias Obreras and have done so.

Turkey: We launched the campaign in support of DHL workers, and sent our a reminder message a week later (today). This morning there were 5,155 supporters and the campaign was already translated into 13 languages.

XPO campaign: We continue to launch in additional languages and send out mailings. We had problems with the campaign as two of the company targets attempted to block our messages. The campaign got a good, early push from the Teamsters union in the US before we even started our publicity, and this is exactly the kind of support from our partner which is so important for these campaigns.

USA: We had expressed some concern that the union whose workers are involved in the Wendt campaign had not informed its members as not a single member of that union had supported the campaign. Our repeated efforts and those of the global union federation involved resulted in 14 members of the union (which claims 120,000 members) eventually supporting the campaign. In other words, of the 6,563 trade unionists who have signed up to support the campaign, 99.8% came from other unions. This is a matter of some concern and we need to discuss among ourselves and with our union partners how to solve this persistent problem.

Events calendar: We wrote to all correspondents encouraging them to post items for our calendar, and slightly redesigned the login page to make this clearer. We continue to add events regularly from the UK and USA.

Finances: We received generous donations in the last week from BWI, UNI and several Canadian unions. We’re waiting on the translation into German of our annual fundraising appeal and hope to have this ready very soon.

Mailing lists: Despite new restrictions which we feared would drastically reduce the number of people joining our mailing lists after supporting our campaigns, those lists continue to grow well. We picked up 560 new subscribers on seven lists.

Privacy: Our privacy page in English now links to all 11 translations that have been done; we note the remaining key languages which have not yet been translated and will try to follow up with these in the next few days.

Apr
09
2018
0

A busy week: Updates for Algeria, Brazil, Georgia, Iran, North America, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, and the USA

Our stall at the Labor Notes conference in Chicago this weekend.

Algeria: Our campaign in support of the independent energy workers union has been extended by a month at the request of the global union federations. It has reached 9,925 messages sent, making it the largest currently-running LabourStart campaign. I encourage all of you to help us get that number up past the 10,000 mark in the next few days.

Brazil: We collected and publicised widely the many statements by international unions condemning the arrest of former president Lula.

Georgia: Three Georgian news stories this week got special attention on LabourStart and wide promotion by us on social media – the mining disaster in Tkibuli in which six workers died, a hunger strike by port workers in Batumi, and the court decision in support of Rustavi Azot workers, who were the subject of a recent LabourStart campaign. Our 8-week old campaign supporting the Georgian unions’ call for a new labour law is up to 6,070 supporters. Eric will be travelling to Georgia in another 13 days and will meet with trade union leaders then.

Global: We continued doing weekly promotions on social media aimed at attracting new, individual subscriptions to the English mailing list. We also began preparing for our annual fundraising appeals, both to individuals and to major union donors.

Iran: Our campaign demanding the release of Esmail Abdi, which is getting close to the 3-month mark, has now reached 8,356 messages sent. This is the most recent of several campaigns we’ve run demanding his freedom, and is our second most popular current campaign.

North America: We had a strong presence at the Labor Notes conference in Chicago organised and led by Derek, who drove from Ontario. We also promoted this effort in a mass mailing to our US and Canadian lists, and with a dedicated website. We had a fully kitted-out stall, distributed flyers, sold books, and signed up new supporters.

Turkey: We signed up a new volunteer correspondent, who works for a well-regarded project called Solidarity TV. Meanwhile, our current campaign targetting Roy Robson is up to 7,670 supporters and is running in 16 languages.

UK: We designed and printed 1,000 full-colour leaflets for distribution at upcoming events, including this week’s Unions 21 conference in London, with a link to a dedicated website very similar to the one we did for Labor Notes – this will be template for other ‘welcome to LabourStart’ websites as needed.

Ukraine: We responded to an appeal by metal workers, urging them to get in touch with IndustriALL.

USA: At the request of a union webmaster in Michigan, we finally completed the creation of RSS news feeds for all 50 US states, updated automatically every 30 minutes.

Apr
02
2018
0

Catching up after nearly a month …

Winners of the Ron Todd Foundation awards in London last month.

First of all, apologies for the delay in this update. I was travelling for two weeks in mid March and am just now catching up.

Campaigns:
We’ve been asked to keep our Algeria campaign, which has now been running for more than three months, live for a bit longer, and have done so. In the last five days, we’ve added only 2 new supporters. We need 77 more supporters to bring the total up to 10,000.
We received a campaign request from one of the global union federations, but they’ve not followed up yet.
We also suggested a campaign to a national trade union centre and are currently discussing it with them.
We launched our first campaign in years in the Thai language, with a mailing coming soon as well.

Conferences:
We’ll have a strong presence at the upcoming Labor Notes conference in Chicago, and will leaflet the Unions 21 conference in London later this month.
We were also invited to speak at a British trade union event in June, but there’s a scheduling conflict.

News:
We fixed a problem with country names on the Ukrainian page.
If the language you work with is still showing English names of countries and you can help with translations, let us know.

Mailings:
We sent out a mailing to the entire English list about the West Virginia teachers’s strike — the second in our series of “explainers”.
Our mailing lists grew by 427 in the last month; there were large numbers of new subscribers to our Turkish and Arabic lists this time.

Women workers:
We now have the women workers page working in all languages. If you’re willing to help, please let me know and you’ll be sent a short text to translate.
We wrote to all correspondents in the run-up to International Women’s Day urging them to post stories and tag them correctly.

Awards:
On 10 March we received the “socialism of the heart” award from the Ron Todd Foundation in London.  Other winners included the McDonald’s workers who held the first strike at the restaurant chain in the UK.

Jul
07
2017
0

Indonesian gov’t intervenes in Freeport dispute – but the campaign continues

Campaigns:

We promoted good news about the Indonesian government’s intervention in the Freeport dispute; however, the campaign continues.
Closed the Madagascar campaign after 3 months, with just under 7,000 supporters. We’re waiting to hear from the ITF what results, if any, we’ve gotten from the effort.
Belatedly answered Spain’s UGT about a possible campaign, but it turns out we’re too late.
Helped the IUF promote its campaign in support of Doha workers in Morocco. Over 2,000 people support the campaign thanks to our effort.
We’ve been asked to keep the Kazakhstan campaign running, and have done so.

LabourStart TV:

Wrote to all LabourStart correspondents explaining what we’ve done, how to add video news, and asked for volunteers to help maintain the Facebook page, which is now up to 196 likes (a gain of 50 since last week). One volunteer in Canada stepped forward.
There are now links on our website to our videos by language. Not all languages are showing video links. The interface on the page still needs to be translated.
Twenty videos were added this week to our site. There were just 11 the previous week, and just 7 the week before that.

Publicity:

We were interviewed for the magazine of the left Esperanto group SAT. When the article becomes available online, I’ll share the link here.

Mailing lists:

With no new campaigns, only 21 names added this week to our lists.

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