Weekly roundup – 6.9 – 17.9.12

New campaigns launched –

Pakistan textile fire (IndustriALL). After just four days online, just under 8,000 (actually, 7,959 as I write this) messages sent making this our biggest campaign for some time. The campaign appears in 8 languages already.

Morocco – free jailed dockers union leader (ITF). After 6 days online, appearing in 9 languages, this is considerably smaller with only half the number as the Pakistan campaign (3,980).

Campaigns closed –

As reported earlier, we lost the vote at Siemens in Maryland, and the campaign was closed.

In the next day or two, we’re closing two more campaigns – China and Peru. Details to follow.

New office –

In the last week we moved all remaining bits, including 10 sets of bookshelves and many hundreds of books.

LabourStart offline –

Last week I attended the TUC in Brighton, beginning the day by distributing over 150 LabourStart brochures to delegates. On Thursday, I and a volunteer leafletted a film at the first-ever London Labour Film Festival, handing out about 80 brochures. On the weekend, I was the (sole) speaker at a small Unison Wales event in Cardiff, and distributed some leaflets there as well.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Office,Publicity |

Weekly round-up: 31.8 – 6.9.12

New office: The Internet was connected on Thursday, 30 August and I’ve been working here ever since. Still need to move 9 sets of bookshelves and about 1,500 books here, as well as some files and a few small pieces of furniture, which will probably be complete this weekend.

UK events & donations from unions: I’ll be attending the TUC congress in Brighton on Monday and the London Labour Film Festival on Thursday, and will distribute LabourStart flyers at both events. Today, I sent out a message to our 8,000+ subscribers in the UK asking for volunteers to help. I also took the opportunity to congratulate the new TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, who opened our 2008 LabourStart conference in London. We’ve gotten recent donations from Unite the Union’s South West region and UCATT (the construction workers union) here in the UK. We’ll be getting a donation from Unison Wales next week following my workshop there.

Conference 2012: I approved a draft document regarding the hiring of someone full time in Australia to help with the conference.


  • Siemens – Should end soon as the vote is today. This is (almost) our largest active campaign at the moment, with 6,772 supporters, after only 12 days online. A special Labo(u)r Day mailing aimed at North Americans helped a bit.
  • An “Arab Spring” for the workers?: This may be the theme of these week’s mailing, as we expect to launch a Morocco campaign for the ITF, and to publicize Egypt and Tunisia campaigns for the IUF — all at once.
  • Turkish aviation workers campaign: This was closed on Monday — it was one of our largest campaigns.

Correspondents: We have an Arabic language sign up form and it’s nearly complete. Thanks to Erin at the Solidarity Center for help on this, and on recruiting correspondents from the Arab world. On Monday this week I added 10 new correspondents, completely clearing the backlog of such requests.

Hebrew edition: I’ve take a number of steps to improve this, including ensuring that news from outside Israel appears here, getting more correspondents involved, growing the mailing list and the supporters of campaigns, and so on.


Weekly round-up: 20-30.8.12

New office: Now moved in; Internet access being set up today. This has taken up a lot of time over the last couple of weeks, and not everything is here yet, and there are still boxes on the floor, but it’s a working office – our very first.

Campaigns: The Spanish miners’ campaign, our first with IndustriALL, is now closed. The Zimbabwe campaign was launched last week, as was the Siemens USA campaign. A fortnightly update was sent to all our campaign partners.

Articles: My article on the case of Kamal Abbas in Egypt was picked up by In These Times (USA), and run in their web edition. In the German newspaper Jungle World (print and web edition) my article on the subject of anti-union violent repression appeared.

Courses: I met in Brussels yesterday with two staffers from the European Trade Union Institute to discuss a course I will help run with them on the subject of online campaigning.

Facebook: We now have a page on Facebook in Turkish.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Office,Social networks |

Weekly round-up: 11-19 August

Mid-August should be a quiet time, so this is actually not the worst time to move office.

This is what our office looked like on Friday — but it doesn’t look this way anymore, as yesterday a volunteer (a UNISON member who works for the NHS) and I moved 8 large boxes, and tomorrow we begin moving the furniture.  (Two new volunteers, one bringing a van, for that one.)

The effort is being helped along by volunteers, trade unionists and friends, as a result of an appeal I made to our UK mailing list.

In addition to everything related to the office move, which is taking up a considerable amount of time, here are some other things that have happened in the last few days:

Campaigns: IndustriALL has asked us to launch a Zimbabwe campaign, but I have raised the question with them of whether this is appropriate at this time considering what has just happened in South Africa.  I’ll keep you posted about their response.  Our latest campaign – DHL Turkey – was promoted on Monday and currently, with 5,720 messages sent, is the largest of the five most recent campaigns.  On Sunday, 12 August we promoted PlayFair’s Olympics campaign, which turned out to be problematic as the IOC began rejecting all the messages sent.  We persuaded PlayFair to write to everyone who had sent a message explaining what happened and making sure their voices would be heard.

Global Solidarity Conference 2012: I have invited one of our comrades from Turkey to participate and will shortly be confirming the participation of a key correspondent from Russia.  I had a Skype call with three members of the organizing committee in Sydney and discussed progress.

Fifty Shades of Campaigning: This is title of a conference being organized by Wales UNISON – I’ve been invited to speak, to actually run four sessions, in mid-September in Cardiff.

LAWCHA Conference, New York City, June 2013: I’ve been invited to organize a panel at this event and have submitted a proposal.

Unite Here: I had a meeting in London with one of their staff who’s been relocated to the UK.  We discussed unions, campaigning, LabourStart, and so on.  I also had a Skype conference with their social media coordinator to discuss issues regarding their global campaigns, which we have helped promote.  These meetings came in the wake of our promotion of the Hyatt Hurts campaign the union is now waging.

Donations: We’ve received a substantial one from the CCU in Canada.  On Monday, I wrote an individual letter and sent this with a brochure to every single trade union general secretary in Britain.  So far, there has been no response.  (Eight British unions have already donated this year for a total of £2,650 – but we can certainly aim to double that.)

Written by admin in: 2012 conference,Campaigns,Fund-raising,Office |

Welcome to our new office

Yesterday I signed the agreement and put down the deposit on our new office space (pictured above) — the first we’ve ever rented.

It’s  publicly-owned (by the London Borough of Haringey), bright red trimmed office complex in Lee Valley.

How could we not choose this one?

Here are the details:

Unit 168,
Lee Valley Technopark,
Ashley Road, Tottenham,
London N17 9LN
United Kingdom

In another 15 days we should have broadband Internet installed and be working there.

We’ll have a new landline number as well.

I welcome all of you to visit once we’re moved in (but make sure to email first to set a time and date).

Written by admin in: Office |

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