Aug
15
2022
0

Ukraine campaign – nearly 6,000 supporters

In Ukraine, workers demonstrate against the new anti-union law.

Ukraine campaign: Following our launch in English last Tuesday, the campaign quickly grew to 5,785 supporters and currently appears in 15 languages with more to come. SumOfUs.org helped by encouraging people who support their petition to also support ours (this is a first, and good news). At our suggestion, they cleared their campaign and text with the unions. The unions in Ukraine are helping to build support, and the campaign also benefitted from a re-tweet by the popular British writer and journalist Paul Mason. We received a small number of hostile messages accusing us, on the one side, of being pro-Putin for daring the criticise the Ukrainian government during war-time, and on the other — for being pro-Zelensky and … well, you can imagine the rest.

Kazakhstan campaign: We are running this for a bit longer as the case remains in the courts. We will do a followup mailing today to our list about this.

Iran campaign: We closed the campaign, announcing that one of the two labour rights defenders has been released. This too will be covered in today’s mailing.

Global Solidarity Conference 2023: We’ve scheduled a first meeting of the joint local and international steering committee for later this week. We hope to be able to announce dates shortly.

Mailing lists: Our lists have grown as we add more campaign supporters; last week, we picked up 440 new subscribers, most of them in English but also 37 new subscribers to our Ukrainian list.

Home page: I fixed a long-standing software issue with links to the second country (if there is one) for a news story.

Other software issues: Our programmer has returned and resumed work on fixing our database; she will also be available to help with other projects.

T-shirts:I had a long conversation with No Sweat in the UK and we’re exploring the possibility of doing a second t-shirt very soon. Last year’s campaign was quite successful.

Facebook: Our Group (Global Labour News & Information) has come under attack by spammers – though there is no reason to believe that we’ve been singled out. We’ve been deleting the offensive posts and blocking the spammers, have resumed vetting people who try to join the group, and have posted a pinned message to the group explaining what’s going on.

To-do list: As promised, the list of often longstanding items has been dropping steadily throughout August, from 107 to 75 today. I hope to have this list below 60 by the end of the month.

Aug
08
2022
0

New campaign launched – Ukraine

We’re back to weekly updates.

Campaigns: We launched a new campaign on Friday in support of Ukrainian trade unions.  We’ll be keeping our Kazakhstan campaign live for a bit longer as we wait for news from the union.

T-shirts: We’ve scheduled a call with an organisation in the UK that does union-made t-shirts as a possible new way to produce our shirts this year.

Global Solidarity Conference 2023: This week we’ll be writing to the members of the steering group to schedule a first meeting (on Zoom).

Our to-do list:  We’ve had a very long to-do list for some time now, and it was 104 a week ago.  It is now down to just 83 and I hope to continue to reduce it throughout August, aiming to reach 60 by the end of the month.

Software issues: The programmer who assisted us recently is back from holiday this week so we should be able to move forward with more fixes and improvements to the website.

Written by admin in: 2023 conference,Campaigns,News database |
Aug
01
2022
0

Weekly update: Global conference, Iran, News database, Correspondents, Campaigns

Conference 2023: We have begun work planning our next Global Solidarity Conference — which is long overdue — in Tbilisi.  The Georgian Trade Union Confederation has named its members of the steering committee and we have invited members of the LabourStart Executive to participate as well.  We hope to have the first meeting of the joint committee very soon.

Iran: We have raised workers’ rights cases in Iran with three global union federations — IndustriALL, the ITF and Education International.  EI has requested to be included as a sponsor of our current campaign; we have asked about whether they want a separate campaign for a teacher activist.

News database: The work repairing this continues as we consider moving the whole database to a different web hosting company.  (Support from our current hosts has been non-existent — and they caused the problem in the first place.)

New correspondents: We added three new correspondents last week from Canada (Iran), Germany and Hong Kong (UK).

Campaigns: We had been invited to prepare a campaign in support of a workers’ rights activist in Kenya, but the company caved and agreed to the demands before a campaign could be launched.

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.

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.

Mar
30
2017
0

Weekly roundup: 1 new campaign, 3 old ones closed, and much more

I haven’t been doing regular updates to Inside LabourStart — but from this week, I want to start. Here’s a roundup of the last 7 days at LabourStart:

CAMPAIGNS

  • We had a problem – for the second time in 4 months – with McAfee blocking access to our campaigns site. After sending them an email (again), they removed the block within 24 hours. I shared the news of this block on social media and to all those (7 subscribers) who complained to me about it.
  • We’ve had a proposal from the Australian unions for a campaign on asbestos. It will go live today or tomorrow.
  • In one of our shortest campaigns here, we protested against the jailing (again) of leaders of Djibouti’s teachers’ union; they were freed on Monday night.
  • With the agreement of our partners in Ukraine, we closed down the campaign in support of Kyiv’s transport workers, which got 8,272 messages sent.
  • After 3 months online, we closed down the Brazilian campaign in support of workers at the University of Sao Paulo.
  • We did a mini-campaign in the UK to build support for the trade union education programme at Ruskin College in Oxford, at the request of the staffers there who have been made redundant. It’s not hosted on our site, which means it’s not the best way to do it, but we got a large number of people to show their support for Ruskin.
  • We helped the IUF promote its campaign in support of Coca-Cola workers in Indonesia – both with a mailing to our list and publicity on the website and on social media.
  • I made a small tweak to the campaigns page so that you are now required to choose a country, and you can’t choose the first choice, which is ‘country’. You must choose an actual country.
  • I’ve begun regularly weekly reviews of our campaigns and mailings, to see if we’re missing any translations in our most popular languages. The only one which is a persistent problem is German and I’ve written to our friends in Berlin in the hope that we can sort this out.

MAILING LISTS

  • We picked up 652 new subscribers this week.
  • Because we had almost 137,000 subscribers on our mailings we pay a lot of money every month to MailChimp. We can save some money by not keeping lists there which we no longer need, so I attempted to bring us below the 135,000 threshhold, which would have saved us $300 a year – but unfortunately could not.

NEWS

  • We now have the “external ActNOW” working – meaning any correspondent can add a link to an online campaign that’s related to a news story. As of this morning, this has been tested and works everywhere.
  • I wrote to all our correspondents telling them about our state/province field, asking them use it where it exists (USA, UK, Australia, South Africa, India, Canada) and if we don’t have it for their country, to let us know and we can add it. We recently learned that in Canada in particular, this is a very popular feature on LabourStart.
  • In addition to that, on all our country news pages for those countries named above, there’s now a drop-down menu for the first time listing states, provinces and regions. This should help raise awareness that we have this feature.

PROMOTING LABOURSTART

  • The British unions BECTU and USDAW offered to let us have a stall at their upcoming conferences and if we can’t attend, to distribute printed material for us.

BOOKS

  • I wrote to all members of the LabourStart executive committee urging people to help get our books, especially the newest one on migrant workers, reviewed on Amazon. This will help boost sales and I encourage everyone reading this to help out.

DONATIONS

  • Finally, we received pledges of donations from TUAC, UNI and BWI. I am sending out reminders to all global union bodies which regularly donate to us, and so far they are all responding affirmatively.
Mar
28
2016
0

Our next book, new campaign, donations, and more

Books

Work is being done on our book on migrant labour which we hope to launch in Toronto. We have a cover and the inside pages are nearly done.

Campaigns

I’ve asked the KCTU and HKCTU for permission to close down the Korea and China campaigns, both of which have been running for a long time.
A new campaign in support of Turkish union GIDA-IS is about to go live.
The campaign submission page has a new field for videos so these can be incorporated into future campaigns.
I did the monthly review of translations into our major languages and identified some problems, especially with German campaigns.

Correspondents

Weekly mailings to all correspondents continue. One focussed on the use of states and regions in news stories; the other encouraged the 90% who’ve been inactive to get active.

Donations

We received a large donation from a branch of Unite the Union in the UK. The Education International and UNI have also made substantial donations to us.

News

Mahesh pointed out a problem with tweeting a news story with a apostrophe in the title.

Radio

I have submitted weekly programmes to WINS on the terrorist attacks in Brussels and the new crackdown on independent unions in Egypt.

Upcoming

On Thursday, I’ll be speaking on a panel with a leader of Unite the Union and Amnesty International’s Shane Enright on corporate campaigning, in London.

Mar
03
2016
4

LabourStart in Numbers – December 2015 – February 2016

Some highlights:

  • Nearly 900 new subscribers on our Korean list
  • Hundreds of new followers on Twitter, on several lists
  • The emergence of major new presence on Facebook for LabourStart Brasil
  • Big gains in traffic to both the news and campaigning websites

The second number is the previous quarter (if we have it); some lines are particularly interesting and have been highlighted in green.

Mailing lists

English: 85,445 – 85,588
French: 8,438 – 8,325
German: 5,870 – 5,785
Spanish: 5,455 – 5,448
Italian: 4,029 – 3,970
Korean: 3,965 – 3,068
Turkish: 3,722 – 3,719
Norwegian: 2,736 – 2,782
Russian: 2,438 – 2,433
Dutch: 1,774 – 1,774

Swedish: 1,255 – 1,256
Chinese: 1,112 – 1,103
Polish: 798 – 793
Finnish: 687 – 687
Japanese: 518 – 488
Portuguese: 468 – 416
Arabic: 450 – 463
Indonesian: 346 – 346
Hebrew: 286 – 282
Tagalog: 254 – 254
Farsi: 242 – 242

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 15,817 – 15,395
Canada English: 5,207 – 4,962
Canada French: 956 – 876
USA: 582 – 563
Italian: 448 – 421
Indonesia: 368 – 360
Swedish: 345 – 306
French: 226 – 229
German: 90 – 90
Spanish: 74 – 76
Portuguese: 71 – 47
Japanese: 22 – 21
Russian: 18 – 18

Facebook

Like LabourStart.org page (English): 10,319 – 10,177
Members of LabourStart group: 8,572 – 8,611
Friends of LabourStart Brasil: 1,198
Like LabourStart page (French): 500 – 483
Like LabourStart page (German): 462 – 447
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 168 – 169
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 151 – 148
Members of LabourStart Vostok [Russian]: 89 – 82

UnionBook

Members: 5,915 – 5,909

LinkedIn

LabourStart group: 1,996 – 1,970

Flickr

Union group on Flickr: 802 – 791

Website

Correspondents: 802 – 798

LabourStart.org (news)

Unique users – 31,026 – 22,366

Top countries (by sessions):

USA 25% – 29%
Canada 16% – 15%
UK 11% – 9%
Australia 5% – 5%
France 4%

Most popular pages – page views:

Home page – English 37,618 – 41,764
USA – English 13,089 – 13,941
Canada – English 7,616 – 6,294
India – 2,444
Home page – Norwegian – 2,309 – 2,807

LabourStartCampaigns.net (campaigns)

Unique users – 39,304 – 35,723

Top countries (by sessions):

UK 15% – 17%
USA 13% – 14%
Canada 12% – 16%
Germany 6% – 5%
Belgium 5%

Most popular pages – page views:

Egypt: Torture and murder of Giulio Regeni – 13,011
China: Free jailed labour activists, stop suppressing labour organizations! – 6,692
Israel/China: Stop governments’ deal to import bonded workers – 6,324
Djibouti: Teacher trade unionist sentenced to prison – 6,213
Iran: Detained teacher unionist on hunger strike – 5,166

Android app downloads (totals)

First number is current, second number is total installs. The numbers in brackets are from the previous quarter.

English: 387 / 757 [408 / 721]
Norwegian: 38 / 48 [37 / 43]
Esperanto: 33 / 99 [30 / 88]

Total: 458 current installs [475]

Aug
18
2015
--

The last 16 days at LabourStart

Campaigns:

We closed our Hungarian campaign after three months. We also closed our Iran May Day campaign, noting that all the jailed trade unionists we mentioned have now been released.

We publicized on social media a USW campaign supporting striking steelworkers, an IndustriALL campaign and an ITF campaign supporting workers at the port of Beirut.

We answered a request for help from a farm workers union in Honduras; we may launch a campaign on this.

We proposed launching a campaign in support of striking workers in the National Gallery in London to their union and PSI.

We publicized Unite the Union’s campaign targetting Pizza Express (UK) with a dedicated mailing to our UK list, and publicity on our news pages and on social media – on our initiative.

We did a dedicated mailing to our Australian list to support the AMWU’s Asbestos campaign – at their request.

I will be attending the FES conference on global labour campaigning in October in Berlin.

I began work on the code for our campaign page to compel users to enter a country and email address (for some reason this no longer works and some have made submissions with this field blank).

Mailing list:

We added 89 new subscribers so far this month.

Our Swedish list is now considerably larger as we’ve migrated hundreds of Swedes who were on our English list – back in the days when we didn’t regularly campaign in Swedish. It has grown from 387 in early July to 1,245 today. (The Norwegian list remains considerably larger at 2,763.)

News:

We’re attempting to revive the Turkish home page; got one existing correspondent to commit to working on this.

We made a special effort to give comprehensive coverage of the London Underground strikes earlier this month, and promoted that coverage on social media.

Books:

We’re slowly reviving our partnership with unionized bookshop Powells.com. See our home page in English – with more to come.

Other:

We removed an old link (very prominent) from the top of our Working Women’s News page.

We contacted UNI about an application for membership from a Palestinian postal workers union.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Mailing list,News database |
May
30
2015
--

2016 conference, new China campaign, and much more – a busy week

Global Solidarity Conference 2016:

We have a date and a venue, which I hope to announce in the next day or two.

Campaigns:

The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions has given us a campaign which will go live in the next day or two.
We’ve been in touch with a group that works to support Iranian political prisoners.
I did a followup mailing to build support for our current Iran campaign after it turned out that two of the prisoners have been released on bail.
Our campaigns interface has now been translated into Sinhala, a language spoken by about 16 million people.
We helped BWI with their FIFA/Qatar Thunderclap, boosting it substantially.
The link to show more campaigns on the Swedish campaign page was broken; I have now fixed it.
Our Berlin group now has access to add campaigns directly to our database.

News:

I have begun fixing the redirect when you key in the URLs for languages like this: http://www.labourstart.org/no — they now go to the ‘news’ directory rather than the ‘2013’ directory, part of a long-term project to migrate everything over.
Small changes made to the Norwegian home page, at Espen’s request.
We’ve had a problem with the German interface to add news; I’ll be helping Gisela to sort this out.
We have a new search engine which I’ll deploy next week; it was set up in response to a request from a Canadian academic doing research on lockouts and works better than our current one.

London Hackathon:

On 12 June we’ve been invited to participate in this event, mentioned earlier (see my post from 14 May). I’ve done a short ‘shopping list’ of some of the many tech things we need help on. If any of you have any suggestions or things to add to that list, please let me know.

Books & Publications:

I’ll resume work on the 2016 Global Labour Calendar next week after a few months of inactivity.
20 copies of Dan Gallin’s Solidarity have been ordered for sale at Northern College in the UK this summer.
I’ll prepare a detailed report on sales in recent months in an upcoming report.

Donations:

We’ve had another donation from a Norwegian union, and PSI has pledged £3,090.
I’ve begun contacting US unions one by one to get their support for the next year.
Our donations page is now translated in Spanish, and we did a mailing to our Spanish list (but with very poor results).

Newswires:

The British TUC has asked us to look into making our newswires secure (using SSL) so we’ve ordered this from our ISP. This will allow the newswire to appear again on some popular TUC sites, such as unionreps.org.uk.

Mailing lists:

We picked up 123 new subscribers this week, and 928 last week.

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