Jul
28
2021
0

Jordan campaign: “The outcome was GREAT”

We’re back to weekly updates.

Europe: We’ve asked again to close the Fedex/TNT campaign, which has been running for more than five months and we expect to do so later this week. We don’t know yet what the effect of the campaign has been.

Jordan: At the request of the Education International, we have now closed this campaign — our largest of 2021 with 9,643 supporters. The EI told us: “The outcome was great with the release of the vice President of the Jordanian Teachers Association (JTA) Dr. Nasser Al-Nawasra, declared innocent by the appeal court in Amman last Sunday 11 July as shared previously … We will keep pressure on the Jordanian government in order to reinstate the union.”

Kazakhstan: Our long-running Kazakhstan campaign is also closing this week, though we haven’t yet had the result we wanted.

Ukraine: After ten months, and with no results reported to us, we suspend the Ukraine miners’ campaign.

Fundraising: We did some followup work the European federations two of which have already made generous donations this year – and we expect more.  We continue to receive generous donations from Canadian unions, both national and local.

Interns: It’s looking increasingly likely that we will have one or more student interns from Canada, starting in September.

LabourStart Jobs: Expect more news about this in the coming days – for now, correspondents should note that there’s an option to tag stories which advertise jobs in the labour movement as such. We’ve always posted such stories, but have never collected them in one place, nor made it this easy to tag them.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising,Intern |
Jul
21
2021
0

After more than 10 weeks, we owe you an apology …

This long-delayed report covers quite a bit of time — more than ten weeks. And it’s been a very busy ten weeks at that. This will be concise, but from next week I hope to resume regular weekly updates which can feature some more details. So here, basically, are the headlines since 10 May …

Campaigns: We launched quite a few, and even won some. These included campaigns in support of tobacco workers in the USA (in partnership with FLOC and the IUF), Thailand (with IndustriALL), Metro workers in Bucharest, Romania (with ETF and EPSU), Brazil, Colombia, and more. We also closed campaigns in Albania, India, Israel, Algeria and Ukraine. The last two were victories — our brother Mourad in Algeria was released from jail, and Profbud reached agreement with the employer in Ukraine. We’ve also had a partial win in Turkey, as Cihan has been released from jail but ordered to remain in the country to stand trial (that campaign continues).

Webinars: We held two excellent webinars in June, with several hundred participants. These focussed on Colombia and Brazil, and were closely tied to campaigns we launched in support of workers in both countries. Both the webinars and the campaigns have helped to raise the profile of our work in Latin America. We also reached out to the RWDSU in the USA to get a webinar going around the Amazon organising effort, but that seems to have stalled.

Publications: Dan Gallin’s new book Resistance was published and we’ve promoted it widely, including a limited time offer of free versions on Kindle. We have begun work on a 2022 Global Labour Calendar, our first in many years. We have also been working on a long-overdue edition of our Campaigning Online and Winning book.

Interns: The intern we were expecting to begin employing in mid-June was not available to us. Meanwhile, we are working on getting one or more interns from Canadian universities.

Fundraising: We did our annual appeal in mid-June, followed up by mailings about the release of Mourad and Cihan. We also did our first Facebook fundraiser, meeting our target this week. We’ve received generous donations in the last couple of months from IndustriALL, EPSU and ETF, and have reached out to other global unions and European federations. In addition, we have had tremendous support from a number of Canadian unions.

Outreach: We were approached by a team of academics in Canada who are doing “a research project which focuses on technology-driven innovation for the labour movement”. Eric had a two-hour interview with them, and Derek will soon be invited as well.

Fixes and changes to LabourStart: We are always making small changes, but in recent days have begun to attack a very long to-do list of suggested changes. We have now sorted out the country news pages for countries which have changed their names so that you will automatically see a link to the alternate name (e.g., Burma / Myanmar) — for the moment, this works only in English. We also fixed a problem with tweeting campaigns not in English and this seems to be working.

Blue skies: One project just beginning will be the tagging of news stories if these concern jobs in the labour movement. We often have such stories and we will find a way to show them in one place for people looking for such jobs — at no cost to the unions.

Apr
07
2021
0

Kyrgyzstan: We spoke too soon …

We spoke too soon – in Kyrgyzstan, the government has had a change of heart and has passed anti-union laws. We are just about to launch a campaign demanding that the president veto that law.

In other news …

Canada: We’ve done a mailing to our entire global list encouraging submissions to CLIFF, the labour film festival. We received a very generous donation from a Canadian union. And we also launched a new Canada-only campaign.

Israel: We continued with building our mailing list and social media following, writing directly to the more than 500 Hebrew speakers who supported our campaign – which now has just under 7,500 supporters.

Myanmar: We have given extensive publicity to two union fundraisers, organised by DSA in the US, and BWI.

Pakistan: We did more followup mailings to promote our campaign, also to our English, German and French lists.  The campaign has over 7,000 supporters.

Home page: A problem emerged with the ‘more stories’ for country link not working; this has now been fixed.

Interns: We participated in Cornell University’s Social Justice Career Fair and interviewed a number of participants. Three of these were short-listed, they were interviewed, and we took a decision to hire one, who will begin work in June. Our intern Amos, who is studying at the Global Labour University in Berlin, completed his internship with us.

Labour News Network: We have revived this tool which allows LabourStart correspondents to post news stories that have not appeared elsewhere on the web. This is now being beta-tested. More details coming soon.

Mailing list: We added 366 new subscribers from the new campaign supporters, mostly to the English list but also with significant growth for the Dutch list.

May Day: We are working on two events online — a panel discussion focussing on jailed trade union activists around the world, and a possible world premiere online of a major new film about working people (more details soon).

RSS newswires: We have been alerted to the fact that these are broken; we will aim to fix them ASAP.

Mar
23
2021
0

LabourStart campaigns end in victory in Kyrgyzstan and Algeria

The top news for us this month was the victories we had in two of our current campaigns — in Kyrgyzstan and Algeria. In the former, the government has withdrawn proposed changes to the labour laws. In the latter, the two women union activists who were jailed have been released. We spread the news of these two wonderful victories widely.

Myanmar: We are in discussions with global unions about a possible campaign.

Norway: We’ve received several generous donations from Norwegian unions this month.

Pakistan: We launched a campaign against union-busting at Metro A.G. in Pakistan, sponsored by UNI Commerce. This campaign features many new languages for us, including Urdu. As of today, it has 5,420 supporters.

Thailand: We have a new volunteer translator for Thai.

USA: We reached out to offer our help to the union organising Amazon workers in the USA.

Correspondents: We held the second correspondents’ meeting on Zoom.

Deliveroo workers: At the request of the ITF, we shared links to their online global campaign to support unionisation at Deliveroo.

International Women’s Day: We posted a lot of news stories, and wrote to all correspondents to encourage them to do so as well, and posted across social media.

Interns: We participated in Cornell University’s career fair for students interested in social justice, speaking with about a half dozen students in individual, short interviews. We will almost certainly hire one of them.

Labour News Network: Work is nearly complete on this project — it will allow correspondents to post news stories which do not currently appear anywhere else on the web. This issue was raised during one of our recent Zoom meetings with the LabourStart community of correspondents and translators.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Correspondents,Fund-raising,Intern |
Feb
19
2021
0

4 new campaigns launched in one month

Campaigns:

Next week we will launch a campaign in support of an organising campaign in Israel, at the request of the Histadrut.
We launched a campaign at the request of the ITF and ETF targetting FedEx-TNT in Europe; after a week online it is in 12 languages and has 4,465 supporters.

We also launched a campaign in support of a union under pressure in Kazakhstan which has 6,293 supporters.
At the request of PSI we launched a campaign in support of jailed women activists in Algeria, which now has 8,062 supporters.
Our largest current campaign is in support of the teachers union in Jordan — it has 9,491 supporters and appears in 24 languages. I hope that campaign will exceed 10,000 supporters.
We also closed a number of the older campaigns.

Correspondents: We signed up new correspondents in the USA and Vanuatu this month.

Finland: A number of new translators volunteered and our campaigns began appearing in Finnish again.

Interns: Amos Netzer from the Global Labour University began working for us this week. We had the first-ever meeting of all 3 LabourStart interns this week as well. We will be participating in the Cornell ILR Career Fair next month. In addition, Derek has reached out to some Canadian labour studies departments to sound out the possibility of Canadian interns.

Mailing lists: I imported 918 new subscribers this month. We now have a Malaysian language list.

Poland: A number of new translators volunteered and our campaigns began appearing in Polish again.

Publicity: Eric was interviewed by Davar, the online newspaper of the Histadrut. The interview appeared in Hebrew and English.

Translators: With more than 80 volunteer translators, we called a meeting of them in mid-February. About 20% of them participated, and we ‘met’ a number of them for the first time.

Turkey: We did publicity to our list promoting a new book on the international labour movement in Turkish, written by Kivanc.

Dec
14
2020
0

Victories in Belarus, Colombia; new campaigns in Brazil, Kyrgyzstan; webinars; and we have a bookshop!

Apologies once again as this update has been delayed by a couple of weeks. It’s been a very busy month and here are some highlights:

Belarus: We shared the good news of the release of the jailed trade unionists (pictured) widely across social media and closed our campaign.

Brazil: We launched a campaign demanding an end the anti-union attacks in the city of São Paulo. After one month online, the campaign has 6,198 supporters.

Cambodia: We closed our current campaign after three months. We don’t know the result yet as we have not yet heard back from the sponsoring unions – ITUC and EI.

Canada: We invited our list to view the CLIFF videos — one of which received a LabourStart prize.

Colombia: We won a big victory in the ‘death shifts’ campaign and publicised this widely.(Pictured – right.)

India: We are in discussions with a colleague who had been an active LabourStart correspondent about ramping up our activities by working together on an Indian labour news page on Facebook which he founded, and that already has tens of thousands of supporters.

Iran: We raised the question of a campaign in support of a workers’ rights activists who received 74 lashes — but have not yet heard back from our global union partner.

Kyrgyzstan: We launched a major new campaign, and now have nearly 6,000 supporters. The campaign has benefitted from repeated posts across social media, and the GUF partners all posting news stories on their home pages about this.

Philippines: We gave a lot of publicity to the global unions’ “Workers’ Quest for Justice – an international webinar on human rights and the labour movement” which took place on 23 November.

UK: I gave a talk (via Zoom) to a London branch of Unite the Union. The subject was LabourStart; the branch has made a donation to us.


Books: We have launched — just in time for Christmas — online bookshops in cooperation with bookshop.org in the USA and UK.

Correspondents: We cleared the backlog of new correspondent applications. At the moment, we have 1,007 correspondents, the majority of whom are inactive. Of those, 64 joined us in 2020. (See ‘webinars’ below.)

Internationalisation: We’re checking all our home pages in various languages to try to standardise features and have completed this for the Dutch page.

Interns: In addition to our two current interns in the USA, Nate and Hargun, we have agreed with the Global Labour University (based in Germany) to take on one or two more for a 6-week period starting in mid-February. We have already interviewed the first one, a young Israeli trade unionist.

Labour Newswire: Our language-based newswires have been broken for some time, but we finally managed to find the problem and fixed the Russian and Spanish ones. We can now begin to publicise these again. We purged the Labour Newswire Global Network page of the many websites which no longer use our newswires (or which have gone defunct).

Site security: Due to changes made by our Internet host (IONOS), we were compelled to close our CloudFlare account and instead have bought into IONOS’ system, SiteLock. We needed to work with IONOS tech support to get this all to work properly. We are working to ensure that all pages on our site are now SSL-protected and no longer trigger warning messages in browsers.

Social media: In addition to our LinkedIn group, we now have a LinkedIn page which we are starting to recruit to.

Webinars: We are today holding our first-ever Zoom webinar, for LabourStart correspondents. Over 50 people have registered to attend. We plan to hold many more webinars to support our campaigns, etc. We are hoping to hold another public webinar in support of FLOC in the US, with the support of the IUF, but are waiting.

Nov
18
2020
0

Campaigns start, finish and start again – and much more from the last 19 days

Since our last update 19 days ago, here’s what we’ve been up to:

Campaigns – Belarus: We launched a new campaign on Friday, 13 November, in support of more than 40 jailed union activists. By today, the campaign had about 6,000 supporters. Just before we got news of the arrests, we were sharing widely the video of 4 of the union leaders thanking us for our earlier campaign – and then they were arrested again.

Campaigns – Colombia: We launched a new campaign on Monday, 2 November in support of teachers facing death threats. Today it has just under 7,000 supporters.

Campaigns – Jordan: We closed down the campaign in support of the Jordanian teachers. The unionists were released, but the repression continues. We may well need to do more campaigns on this in future.

Campaigns – Upcoming: We are still expecting campaigns (which have been proposed to us) from Brazil and Israel.

Mailing list: We added 511 new subscribers from supporters of our campaigns (who requested to be added to our lists).

Webinars: We’re going to begin a series of webinars, starting in December, and are in discussions with an American union about the first one. We’ve purchased a license to use Zoom in this way, allowing up to 500 people at a time to participate in our events.

CLIFF: We sponsored a special award at the Canadian Labour International Film Festival this year — the LabourStart Award for Working Class Solidarity. This award recognises the festival film that speaks the most to building worker-to-worker global solidarity. There are two recipients of the award in 2020: Birth of a Union and Filadelphia.

  • Birth of a Union is a 19.5 minute documentary from the United States and Director Josh Karan. The film chronicles the historic effort to organize low wage workers in North Carolina, where it is illegal for any State agency to agree to a Union contract.
  • Filadelphia is a 7 minute documentary from Brazil and Director Dani Drumond. The film reveals the work and voices of 16 women in a recycling sorting cooperative. As they work and talk, a subject inevitably comes up: why do men give up so early on work in the cooperative?

Interns: The Global Labour University is once again offering us short-term internships in early 2021. We had a successful internship at GLU in early 2020 and look forward to continue this relationship.

Donations: We received generous donations from, among others, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the Human Rights at Work Foundation (FDHT), and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in the UK. We also publicised a link to an album created by David Thorpe, a UK singer-songwriter, who is generously donating 30% of the proceeds to LabourStart.

Technical glitch: Our website was briefly offline as our Internet host, IONOS, made us change some details on their domain name server. We did, however, quickly recover.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Fund-raising,Intern,Mailing list |
Aug
31
2020
0

We have never had more live campaigns than we have today

We are currently running 13 campaigns — a new record for us.

They come from Albania, Belarus, Brazil, Cambodia, the Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Turkey, and Zimbabwe — so we have most of the world’s regions covered.

Our campaign partners include the International Trade Union Confederation, European Trade Union Confederation, Building and Wood Workers International, Education International, IndustriALL, International Transport Workers Federation, International Union of Foodworkers, Public Services International, UNI Global Union, the European Transport Workers Federation, the Zimbabwean Nurses Association (ZINA), Deriteks (Turkey), Indonesian Labour with the People Movement (GEBRAK), National Union of Workers in Hospital Support and Allied Services (Malaysia), the Trade Union of United Mineworkers of Bulqiza (Albania), and the independent Belarusian trade unions.

The most recent campaigns we’ve launched (this month) are these four:

  • Belarus: Stop the violence – defend democracy and human rightsv- 5,135 supporters
  • Cambodia: Free jailed union leaders now – 4,566 supporters
  • Indonesia: Stop Widodo’s Omnibus Bill and protect workers and their families – 5,178 supporters
  • Jordan: Release leaders of the Jordanian Teacher Association – 5,511 supporters

Please do what you can to help us ramp up support for all these campaigns.

A number of the campaigns are having successful results — for example, in Jordan jailed leaders of the teachers union were released, and we expect to close the current campaign shortly. And we now have a document which we can begin to share telling the stories of a significant number of campaign we victories we had in 2019-20.

Thanks to the work of our wonderful volunteer translators, two languages that had been problematic for us (few translations) are now working well — German and Korean. These are two of our biggest mailing lists (with over 9,200 subscribers between them), so we’re very pleased to be able to share all our current campaigns with them. In addition, our backlog of campaigns has now been translated into Turkish.

Much of the work getting the campaign translations posted and the mailings sent out is now being done by our new intern, Nate. In addition, we have this month taken on another intern, a student at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Hargun Sodhi; she will begin work with us this week.

Thanks to all the new campaigns, our mailing lists are experiencing significant growth this month. In August we added 1,188 new subscribers, most of them to the English list. All of our mailing lists have now been imported into Sendy.

We made a lot of progress on the second volume of Dan Gallin’s writings — we now have all the texts digitised and ready to be edited. Dan has even suggested a title — Resistance.

Finally, we’ve had a problem with our newswires in the different languages (though the country newswires work) — this is due to changes IONOS made to their system and we are working to fix this.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Intern,Mailing list,Publications |
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
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.

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