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.

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.

Apr
06
2020
0

LabourStart in lockdown – but the work continues

A lot of our focus in the last week has been organising a Virtual May Day in partnership with global unions. We’ve been getting those unions on board, discussing content for the day and focussing on getting a platform up and running.

Our COVID-19 page continues to be our main news and we continue to promote it regularly across social media. We’ve had over 1,700 news stories about this in English alone, and in many more languages.

We now have a way to post messages to our most active correspondents and will be sending out a message today — in part to thank them for their help during this difficult time.

We had been working with an intern from the Global Labour University for the last several weeks. She has now completed her project with us though we hope she will continue as an active correspondent.

On our campaign page, we now have (in English only, at first) a prominent link to our ‘What is LabourStart page?’ — particularly useful for people supporting one of our campaigns for the first time. We’ll be rolling out this feature in other languages soon.

We are continuing with discussions on a possible Global Solidarity Conference in 2021. We have a national trade union centre interested in hosting this. More details to come soon.

There remains a backlog of correspondence to be answered, but we’re hoping to begin to bring that down, so if you’ve written to us and are waiting for a reply, thanks for your patience.

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 |
Dec
26
2019
2

Three new campaigns launched in December

Campaigns: We launched three new campaigns in December:

In support of dockworkers in Indonesia, at the request of the ITF. That campaign has 4,405 supporters and appears in 9 languages, with more on the way.
In support of Albanian mine workers at the request of a new and independent union there. That campaign has 5,951 supporters and appears in 13 languages, with more on the way.
In support of Polish retail workers, at the request of UNI. That campaign has 6,944 supporters and appears in 15 languages.

We closed our South Korea campaign after the workers won a clear victory. That was a short campaign and there were 5,377 supporters and the campaign appeared in 12 languages.
We asked if there was a need for a campaign in support a jailed trade union leader in Algeria and were told no. We also asked if LabourStart should be promoting an existing campaign regarding El Salvador but have received no reply.
On 10 December, Human Rights Day, we did a special website (and yes, I did notice that the year is wrong) and mailing (in English only), sharing this widely on our own site and across social media, to promote our existing campaigns.
We had a large number of bouncing target email addresses which were forwarded to us by our web hosts (and in some cases, via Gmail); we have now deleted these from campaigns. These are mostly companies trying to block our messages. We get around this using our petition format.

Correspondents: We amended the message new correspondents receive so that they are now encouraged to have a phone conversation with us early on. This is one of a number of steps we are taking to ensure that correspondents remain active.
We also fixed the ‘show news by correspondent’ script which was not correctly rendering non-Latin characters, as was pointed out by a new Iranian correspondent.
We added new correspondents in Australia and Iran.

Donations: We received a very generous donation from the IUF.

Labour History database: We fixed a problem that had previously blocked users from deleting duplicate entries.

Mailing lists: Today, we added 454 new subscribers from our campaign supporters on 26.12; the largest groups were English (301) and Polish (78). On 16.12, we imported 208 new subscribers, 148 of those for the English list. On 11.12, we imported 665 new subscribers; 266 of these were Korean, 219 English and 112 Polish. That’s a total of 1,327 new subscribers added in the last 15 days.

Media: We have begun work on a media list, with individuals tagged by country and language. Next year we will begin using this list to amplify our campaigns to read a wider audience.

News: We fixed the left column in the new version of the website to show country names in the correct language, where available. (This was already working on the top of the page, and on the bottom.) This may not work for all languages just yet. We also fixed the links on the top of the page and in the left column to go to the country page rather than the old ‘show_news’ page.

Translators: We sent an end-of-year thank you message to all 71 volunteer translators, who’ve translated some 20 campaigns for us throughout 2019.

Dec
03
2019
--

New campaigns in Korea, Poland

I’m trying to keep up with weekly updates, so here’s what’s been happening over the last 6 days …

Korean campaign:
This campaign was launched four days ago and already has 3,950 supporters and it appears in 11 languages. The Korean language version has done very well thanks to the union there promoting it — it now has 568 supporters, or 14% of the total.

Poland campaign:
This was just received today from UNI Global Union and will go live later today or tomorrow morning.

Philippines campaign:
This is currently our largest campaign (by far) with 6,900 supporters, appearing in 16 languages. That’s a gain of over 200 new supporters in the last 6 days.

Global unions:
We had a long phone call with the incoming ITF director of communications and discussed how we will work together in future.
Following up on Eric’s visit to Brussels, the Education International made a generous donation.

Mailing lists:
We’ve asked for help, as we need something set up to allow scheduled mailings. Otherwise, everything is working very well with Sendy after a month on our new server.

Correspondents:
We sent out an appeal to our Australian list for volunteers; so far, three people have stepped forward.

Software:
We had a glitch on our show-campaigns-as-petition script, but this has now been fixed. This is a useful tool when we are blocked by a target employer or government, and need to present the signatures as a petition which can be printed out.

Aug
12
2019
0

LabourStart in Numbers – 1 February – 31 July 2019

In this report, which covers the last six months or so, I’ve added a new feature at the very top — the numbers regarding our campaigns. These numbers, important though they are, do not reflect the success of those campaigns. Some of the smaller ones actually achieved good results, while larger ones had little impact in some cases. In any event, please note that we’ve not run a campaign for some time that got more than 10,000 supporters — and we should aim to achieve that again, and soon.

Our mailing lists continue to shrink thanks to GDPR, and of the large lists, only the Turkish one has experienced any growth.

On social media, we’ve seen very small growth in our presence on Facebook, but some very good growth in some of our Twitter feeds. This is particularly evident for our global Spanish and Portuguese feeds, and our Australia and Canada feeds.

The first number below is today’s count, the second is from six months ago.

ActNOW campaigns

Currently active global campaigns

Pakistan: Reinstate the Karachi Eight – 7,489
Philippines: Holcim workers demand justice – 6,507
Turkey: Reinstate municipal workers in Alia?a – 6,390
Poland: Hutchison Ports must reinstate union activist Marek Szymczak – 6,288
Cambodia: Solidarity with workers at the West Mebun temple – 5,573

Other campaigns closed in 2019

Canadian Postal Workers Forced Back to Work, Supporters Jailed – 8,875
Turkey: Release jailed construction workers – Ensure occupational safety at Istanbul Airport – 8,800
China: Release Jailed Labour Rights Activists Exercising Rights to Freedom of Association – 8,559
Kazakhstan: Stop repression and physical attacks on leaders of independent unions; hands off Larisa Kharkova, Erlan Baltabai and Dmitriy Senyavskiy – 8,508
Philippines: Teacher unionists under threat – 8,130
Guatemala: Union leaders imprisoned for having negotiated a collective agreement – 8,128
Thailand: Olympic 2020 partner Mitsubishi Electric humiliates workers – 7,798
Iran: Stop jailing teachers now – 7,671
Thailand: Union leaders sacked, fined for demanding rail safety – 7,494
Hungary: Stop the slave law – 7,288
Kazakhstan: Erlan Baltabay sentenced to 7 years in prison for union activity – 7,070
Jordan: New labour law must recognise workers’ rights – 5,472
Korea: Stop the Outsourcing of Danger – Justice for Kim Yong-gyun! – 3,983
Jordan: King must reject flawed labour law passed by Parliament – 3,539

Mailing lists

The top 10:

English: 76,387 – 79,891
French: 8,277 – 8,531
German: 5,940 – 6,065
Spanish: 5,164 – 5,228
Turkish: 4,266 – 4,243
Korean: 3,742 – 3,791
Italian: 3,563 – 3,663
Russian: 2,694 – 2,725
Norwegian: 2,481 – 2,553
Dutch: 1,597 – 1,638

The others:

Swedish: 1,080 – 1,098
Chinese: 1,026 – 1,037
Arabic: 954 – 957
Portuguese: 866 – 849
Polish: 680 – 713
Finnish: 532 – 538
Japanese: 421 – 446
Indonesian: 394 – 395
Ukrainian: 296 – 247
Hebrew: 251 – 257
Farsi: 218 – 218
Georgian: 217 – 217
Hungarian: 185 – 178
Tagalog: 175 – 203
Esperanto: 175 – 179
Thai: 154 – 64
Danish: 81 – 83
Czech: 71 – 71
Greek: 57 – 57
Romanian: 39 – 41
Hindi: 37 – 37
Vietnamese: 25 – 25
Bulgarian: 18 – 18
Slovakian: 15 – 15
Creole: 12- 12
Sinhalese: 1- 1

Social media

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 12,986 – 12,835
Members of LabourStart group (Global Labour News and Information): 8,631 – 8,629
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 2,256 – 2,314
Like LabourStart UK page: 2,097 – 2,075
Like LabourStart page (French): 585 – 581
Like LabourStart page (German): 502 – 495
Friends of LabourStart Brasil: 481 – 468
LabourStart TV: 420 – 404
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 156 – 157
Members of LabourStart Vostok (Russian): 114 – 111

Twitter

English: 22,578 – 21,374
Canada English: 10,547- 9,578
USA: 4,822 – 3,584
Australia: 3,986 – 3,075
Spanish: 2,177 – 1,200
Canada French: 2,155 – 1,956
Portuguese: 1,397 – 321
Italian: 517 – 516 (last tweet June 2019)
Indonesia: 354 – 354 (last tweet 2015)
Swedish: 361 – 364 (last tweet 2016)
French: 230 – 235 (last tweet 2018)
German: 122 – 123 (last tweet 2018)
Russian: – 34
Japanese: 19 – 19 (last tweet 2012)
Dutch: – 12
Arabic: – 7

Linked In

LabourStart group: 2,130 – 2,119

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 835 – 834

LabourStart’s news website

Correspondents: 930 – 905

Website traffic to the main news website

Visitors 371,877 – 391,616

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.

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