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.

Feb
24
2020
0

Updates from Africa, Europe, Asia and North America

Albania: We make a modest donation to the mineworkers union, whose campaign we have been hosting for the last three months. The union is under considerable pressure and has few resources.

Egypt: A new campaign has been submitted, but there are some issues with it that need to be resolved before we can launch. We are waiting to hear back.

Germany: A huge victory in the Ameos campaign, which we close down — and report to our supporters in all languages, including a lonq quote from the union, Ver.di.

Ghana: Our new intern has begun posting news stories from Ghana and is working on other tasks to strengthen our relationship with the trade union movement there.

Philippines: At the request of the Education International, we extend the campaign for a few more months and send out a mailing with updates about ongoing repression in order to encourage people to sign up and spread the word. Very quickly, we pick up another 1,207 supporters.

UK: Eric has been invited to speak on two panels at the upcoming national conference of the teachers’ union NASUWT. He was also interviewed for the union’s magazine about international solidarity.

USA: We invest in a quarter-page advertisement in the programme for the upcoming Labor Notes conference.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Intern,Publicity |
Feb
14
2020
1

Victory in Germany – and other news from the last week

Germany: The workers at Ameos win a big victory and their union, Ver.di, thanked LabourStart for our short campaign in 13 languages, which had 7,968 supporters.  (It was our biggest active campaign.)  The company complained about the large number of protest emails they were receiving. The campaign has been closed down.

Ghana: We have a new intern, Benedicta, for the next few weeks, thanks to the Global Labour University. She will help particularly with growing LabourStart’s presence in Ghana.

Ukraine: We’re expecting to launch a new campaign shortly.

USA: We’re ordered an advertisement in the conference program for Labor Notes.

Campaigns: Our campaigns website was briefly down last weekend due to a power failure in Sheffield; this was quickly resolved.

Mailing lists: We imported 360 new subscribers (supporters of recent campaigns) to 10 lists, with the largest groups going to the German (175) and English (141) lists.

Partners: We had a meeting with the new head of communications at the International Transport Workers Federation in London. Following up with our meeting with the NASUWT, a British teachers’ union, the union has scheduled an interview with Eric Lee for next week, for the union’s international solidarity magazine.

Website redesign: We’re resumed this project, and have released the new version of the Portuguese site and are finishing up the Norwegian one. We’re also making progress on the redesign of the country news pages.

Oct
24
2016
5

Meet our new interns

Meet John and Eda.

Meet John and Eda.

LabourStart has hired two new interns.  I asked them to say a few words about themselves.

Edanur Yazici:

“I’m very excited to be joining the LabourStart team. I have been an active member of a small union, the IWW for some time and I am currently serving as a local branch officer. I look forward to be able to put the skills I have gained there to good use at LabourStart. My academic background is in Politics and I have a fair bit of experience in various grassroots campaigning organisations and movements.”

John Millington:

“I am proud to be working with LabourStart. I am a former national newspaper journalist, health campaigner and currently a union activist. I am looking forward to using my skills and seven years experience to promote workers’ rights throughout the world.”

Written by admin in: Intern,Uncategorized |
Sep
28
2016
0

Coming soon: A LabourStart intern

Applications are now closed for the paid LabourStart internship this year.  Three of us went through the 12 applicants who applied, and brought this down to a shortlist of just 4 names — and this wasn’t easy as there were several very good candidates.  Interviews will take place in London next week and I’ll report back here once we’ve made a decision on who to hire.  I want to thank Derek and Silvana for helping to sort through the candidates, and Roger Darlington for agreeing to help me with the actual interviews, as before.

Written by admin in: Intern |

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