Jul
18
2016
1

LabourStart’s Toronto conference: the movie!

A very talented film-maker, Cynthia Pandev, has done a wonderful video of our conference that took place in May in Toronto.  Well worth watching the whole thing, and sharing widely:

Written by admin in: 2016 Conference |
Jul
11
2016
0

Volunteer(s) needed: Help us write the story of our Toronto conference

Two months ago we held a very successful LabourStart Global Solidarity Conference in Toronto.  Since then, we’ve written an introductory text, and had a 16 minute video produced (soon to be released), but we need to write up a report on what happened at the conference.  If you were there, and would be willing to write text based on the conference programme which was posted online, we could speed up the production of a good report about this event.  Please email [email protected] if you can help.  Thanks.

Written by admin in: 2016 Conference |
Mar
14
2016
0

2 new campaigns, conference getting closer, new correspondents, etc. – two weeks in the life of LabourStart

Campaigns:

At the request of the Education International, we launched a campaign in defense of a jailed teacher trade unionist.
The ITF requested and we launched a campaign protesting the killing in custody of a Gambian trade union leader.
A Turkish union, GIDA-IS, has asked us to do a campaign which we will launch shortly.

Conference:

We now have a draft agenda ready, a logo, a WordPress blog is being created, and we have hired an intern to work with us on this (Angela).

Correspondents:

I resumed weekly mailings to all our 600+ correspondents. Each week, they get news and ideas how they can be more active or use LabourStart better. Focusses of recent mailings have included encouraging them to get their unions to issue statements in support of our campaigns, International Women’s Day, and how to link campaigns to news.
I added at least 16 new correspondents in the last two weeks — there had been a backlog dating back to January.

Mailing lists:

We’ve added hundreds of new people to our lists due to the recent campaigns.

Newswires:

I fixed the script that builds the JavaScript newswire, adidng a requirement that stories be in English, because there are now Russian and French priority 1 news stories.
It also turned out that there was an old, broken link to our campaigns newswire on the site, but this has now been fixed.

Outreach:

I’ve been invited to speak on a panel on 31 March in London, together with Shane Enright from Amnesty International, on campaigning. The panel is hosted by the Ethical Trading Initiative.
I will also be representing LabourStart at an event to be held in mid-April at the House of Lords in London; details to follow.

Ratify the Protocol:

We continue offering support to this important initiative from the ITUC (against modern slavery) and this month did a mailing to our Italian list after our volunteer translators translated the ITUC’s campaign page.

WINS Working World – Labor Radio:

I continue with recording weekly programs — the most recent one was on the Palestinian teachers’ strike. These can be found here: http://www.laborradio.org/?zone=/unionactive/view_page.cfm&page=The20Working20World

Feb
25
2016
0

The last 37 days – a lot to report …

I had wanted these to be fortnightly reports — but it’s hard to keep that going with so much happening. So, apologies for the delay. Here’s what’s happened in the last five weeks:

CAMPAIGNS

  • We asked KCTU if we can close down their 3-month-old campaign; they’ve asked us to keep it going and we will.
  • Launched two new campaigns on one day (Iran and Morocco), both concerning individuals we’d already campaigned for in the past.
  • We closed three campaigns — Mastepan (Estonia), Nermin (Libya) and Ewado (Djibouti); we reported on both in the mass mailing that went out today.  We also heard very positive news about a campaign we did with WAC in defense of a Palestinian trade union activist.
  • We launched a very large campaign demanding justice for Giulio Regeni. This came at the suggestion of our Italian comrades, and was quickly followed by support from the IUF and a positive statement also from the ITUC.  This campaign soared to 10,000 messages very quickly and continues to grow.
  • We continued to support the ITUC’s Ratify the Protocol campaign.

RADIO

We’re now submitting weekly 2 1/2 minute reports to the Workers Independent News Service (WINS) in the US. This is in addition to our ongoing cooperation with Radio Labour, based in Canada.

FINANCES

We received a generous donation from Building and Woodworkers International.

EVENTS

I spoke at a meeting of communications staffers of European unions in Gdansk, Poland last week.

CORRESPONDENTS

We’ve resumed regular mailings to correspondents, which will take place every week — after a gap of nearly 10 months.

BOOKS

The complete manuscript for the next LabourStart book, The Strangers Among Us, has been received and we’re currently formatting it. We hope to have a book launch event at our conference in Toronto.

CONFERENCE

Speaking of which — we have a large number of workshop proposals and 371 people signed up to attend; there’s an organizing committee and an intern hired, and we’ll soon have an agenda.

PUBLICITY

At the suggestion of the British TUC, we submitted a nomination form for the SMK Campaigners Awards; they will decide by the end of February and their ceremony in the House of Lords will take place on 13 April.

TRANSLATIONS

We need a new Spanish translator as our comrade David has fallen ill; we got several dozen volunteers for the job.

Jan
19
2016
0

Campaigns, conference, donations, mailing list growth – and much more

Campaigns:
We’ve asked the ITF for permission to close the Estonia campaign after 3 months. The campaign had over 8,900 supporters and appeared in 15 languages. Once this closes, we’ll only have 3 active global campaigns running.
As our Spanish translator has been ill, we need to find a new one urgently. I’m working on this today. None of our recent campaigns have appeared in Spanish, unfortunately.
We closed the Kyrgyzstan campaign after more than 4 months. The campaign had 7,752 supporters and appeared in 15 languages.
We posted translations our China campaign in several more languages. The campaign currently has just over 7,000 supporters and appears in 16 languages.
We publicized an IUF campaign (on Turkey) to our list, and used the opportunity to explain why we’d closed our recent Iran and China/Israel campaigns (with victories in both cases.)

Conference:
The conference opens in 108 days. We have 256 people registered from dozens of countries. In the next week or two we’ll have some details about workshops, topics and speakers and will do more publicity.

Donations:
UNISON in the UK has decided to donate £1,000 to LabourStart.
We’ve also been in discussions with the FNV in the Netherlands about joint work, possibly including a donation.
I will be following up with GUFs which have not donated recently.

Mailing list:
We picked up 624 new subscribers this month, mostly to the English list.

Publications:
Everything is coming together for our next book, edited by Joe Atkins, on migrant workers. We should have all we need by the end of this month, and the book should be available sometime in February (and of course for sale at our conference in Toronto).
I wrote to colleagues at the International Institute for Social History (where I participated in an all-day workshop in December) about collaborating on various projects, including a Global Labour Calendar.

Radio:
We’ve been asked by WINS (the Workers Independent News Service, based in the US) to contribute a 2.5 minute program every week and will do so. They’ve partnered with National Public Radio in the US and believe that their show will now reach an audience of 750,000 to 1,000,000. In addition to this, we continue to work closely with, and provide a weekly show for, RadioLabour based in Canada.

Ratify the Protocol:
We promoted this ITUC campaign to our mailing lists in English, Swedish and French, managing to crash their server in the process. Our efforts have more than doubled the number of people who’ve signed up. We also arranged translation of the campaign into several additional languages for them.

Twitter:
We had an exchange with a couple of senior staff at Twitter about a possible LabourStart involvement in their new Moments project; at the moment, this won’t happen but may down the road.

Jan
03
2016
0

The last two weeks of 2015

Arthur Svensson prize: At the very last minute, LabourStart got nominated for this prestigious prize sponsored by a Norwegian union. Nominations came in from Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Sweden the UK, and at least three global union federations.

Campaigns:

  • Annual report – I’ve written a draft annual report and shared it with members of the LabourStart Executive and am waiting for their responses before releasing a public version.
  • Egypt – we’ve had a campaign request from the CTUWS; they need to edit their text further and we can then launch it.
  • China – we launched a major new campaign at the request of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.
  • Iran – at the request of the Education International, this campaign was suspended.
  • Kyrgyzstan – I’ve once again asked IndustriALL for permission to close this campaign after 4 months; they had earlier asked for an extension.

Fundraising: We received an additional donation from the FDHT in Geneva, and have submitted a detailed proposal to UNISON in the UK. We’re also following up with GUFs which have not donated for more than a year.

Global solidarity conference: See above.

International Institute for Social History (Amsterdam): I was one of three external “experts” brought in last month to discuss with archivists there the IISH’s collection of labour and socialist archives. Ways LabourStart and the IISH can work together were also discussed.

Twitter: The company has launched a new initiative called Moments which aims to reproduce something like the Facebook news stream; they are looking for content providers to act as partners. I made contact with a senior Twitter executive about this and we’ve exchanged a couple of emails about possibilities.

Wikipedia: LabourStart’s page is under threat. I’ve reported this to members of our Executive and hope that we can take the necessary steps to prevent its deletion.

Dec
17
2015
0

Campaign updates from Iran, Israel, China, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Turkey – and more …

The first two weeks of December were a busy time for us, especially regarding campaigns.

2016 conference:

Updates will appear on top of Inside LabourStart as we get them.

Campaigns:

At the suggestion of Andy, I’ll be drawing up a short report on how we did with campaigns in 2015, and we can circulate this early in the new year to our lists.

Iran: At the request of the Education International we launched a campaign 3 days ago demanding the release of a jailed teacher trade unionist. But within 1 day, we received reports that he’d ended his hunger strike and was released. We are now waiting for confirmation of this and will then close the campaign.

Israel/China: The deal to import tens of thousands of workers from China to Israel as bonded labour has fallen through, and as a result we’ve been asked to close the campaign. The campaign had 6,263 supporters in 14 languages despite having been online for little more than one week. We’ll be releasing a statement shortly.

Korea: The campaign continues to grow, and as of this morning has over 10,200 supporters, 1,359 of whom supported the Korean-language version.

Kyrgyzstan: I have asked IndustriALL for permission to close this, as more than three months have passed. We’re still waiting for a green light to do this.

Poland: We closed the ITF Poland campaign after three months. The campaign had 7,910 supporters; we don’t have a final message from the ITF about results of our efforts, despite having asked for such a report.

Turkey: We closed down the SF Leather/Mulberry campaign after more than four months with the agreement of IndustriALL. It was a large campaign with 11,571 supporters.

Outreach:

I have been invited next week to participation in a small workshop at the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam; they are keen to discuss their relationship with the global labour movement and the question of archives.

In February, I’ve been invited to speak in Gdansk at a meeting of European trade union communications officers, organized by the European Trade Union Confederation and the European Trade Union Institute.

Facebook & Twitter:

Our group (not page) is increasingly dominated by a handful of individuals some of whom seem to think that we are connected somehow to the British Labour Party. I have written a sticky post on top of the group for all to see encouraging people to post items about the labour movement. It has had limited success.

Meanwhile, our Canadian feed on Twitter continues to thrive, with over 5,000 followers. (See Derek’s post below.)

Dec
08
2015
0

Countdown to Toronto: 108 days to go

torontoskyline-250pxThis post, which will stay on top of Inside LabourStart for a while, will serve to update you about our upcoming Global Solidarity Conference in Toronto, which opens on 6 May 2016.  Questions about the conference? Email [email protected].

D-108 – 19 January 2016: We’ll soon have a draft agenda and list of topics and speakers.  We’ve invited four prominent speakers from the USA, Canada, Mexico and South Africa.  We’re up to 256 people registered to attend the conference already. (more…)

Written by admin in: 2016 Conference |
Dec
01
2015
1

Conference 2016 – publicity begins; new campaign launched on Korea

A summary of the latest news from LabourStart in the last 11 days … (more…)

Written by admin in: 2016 Conference,Campaigns |
Nov
20
2015
0

The last 26 days

I’ve been late with an update because of a family vacation, but here’s a brief update on the last 26 days at LabourStart. (more…)

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