Weekly round-up: 4-11 June 2012

Some of the things I’ve been working on for the last week:


  • Closed two campaigns (Kamal Abbas – Egypt, Abdolreza Ghanbari – Iran) without clear results yet.  Both cases continue.  The Ghanbari campaign set a new standard for us, and with over 17,000 messages sent it was our biggest campaign ever.  As Derek Blackadder points out in the comments, this means our next goal has to be 20,000.
  • We also launched new campaigns this week in support of oil workers in Egypt and public sector workers in Algeria; both campaigns have gotten off to a slow start.
  • We expect new campaigns to be launched shortly in support of workers in Korea, Kenya and possibly Turkey and Spain.
  • The campaign counter is now fixed, though not yet fully automated (we’re unable to use ‘cron’ on the new server, for those of you who understand these things.)  I also tweaked a few more things the resulted from the move to our new campaigns server, such as ensuring that ‘ActNOW’ links that appear next to news stories point directly to the new site.  I fixed the campaigns script so you should no longer be able to choose ‘Select your country’ as your country (as many people have done).

Mailing lists: We are very close to 100,000 names.  When we cross this threshold, we’ll need to raise an additional £1,600 a year.  We’re going to attempt to grow the Danish and Swedish lists, and to find volunteer translators to help with mailings to these lists and campaigns.  (This is currently covered by Espen who does it in Norwegian, but it would be better to have versions in all three Scandinavian languages.)

ILO: We’ve gotten no further news from the ITUC and GUFs about the employer attempt to block discussion of workers’ rights at this year’s International Labour Conference. We have told all that we’re ready and willing to do an online campaign on a moment’s notice.

Writing: I had articles published this week in both Solidarity and the Morning Star about the case of US politician John Edwards.

Office: I’ve begun looking for an office for LabourStart as I will be moving house by late September and will no longer be able to work from home.  At the moment we’re budgetting about £600 per month (£7,200 a year), which will either get us a very small office or possibly a studio apartment.

Intern: I looked into what it would cost to hire an intern at the London Living Wage; I think this and an office are the next two steps toward professionalizing LabourStart even more and expanding our capacity.  At £8.30 per hour, and calculating a 35 hour week, that would be an additional £15,100 per year we’d need to raise.

Donations: We received £1,100 in the last week from two British unions (CWU – £1,000; Napo – £100), £126 from the OECTA in Canada and a number of individual donors (£222).

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

Unions ‘ambushed’ at international labour conference in Geneva – what we can do

News broke last night that employers were going to block all discussion of workers’ rights violations for the first time ever at the International Labour Conference which is held every year in Geneva. Here is what LabourStart is doing about it:

  • Last night, news stories were posted to the website – given a top global priority.
  • Emails were exchanged with figures in a couple of the global union federations about the possibility of a campaign.
  • Links to statements by the ITUC and 3 GUFs were posted by me to UnionBook, and automatically to Twitter and my Facebook status.
  • LabourStart’s own Twitter feed gets 4 postings, one after the other, to our 6,437 followers.  Re-tweeting begins immediately, with the British TUC doing the first.
  • On Facebook, links were posted to the LabourStart page (4,516 likes).
  • I also changed theFacebook banner graphic to now look like this.
  • Marc Belanger has produced an excellent broadcast for Radio Labour devoted solely to this – I’m now giving that some extra publicity as well.

More soon …

Written by admin in: ILO |

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