Why become a correspondent

Two participants at our recent conference in Washington asked for a short text they could circulate making the case for people becoming LabourStart correspondents.  Here’s what I’ve written today — feel free to use as is, or modify, and circulate.

Why become a LabourStart correspondent

LabourStart, the news and campaigning website of the international trade union movement, publishes links to some 90,000 union news stories every year.

Those links are added to LabourStart’s database by a network of nearly 700 volunteer correspondents who monitor union websites as well as mainstream news sources and identify union news stories.

In addition to appearing on LabourStart’s website (including the brand new US Edition at, many of those stories appear on union websites around the world, as LabourStart syndicates its news.  Over 200 union websites in the USA take the LabourStart news service, as do 560 other unions around the globe.

To ensure that news from your union — at national, regional or even local level — makes it to LabourStart, you should consider becoming a volunteer correspondent.

It’s easy to sign up – just fill in the form at

Written by ericlee in: Uncategorized |

No Sweat t-shirts

No Sweat Apparel which has long been a LabourStart partner is attempting to liquidate stock.  They have a quantity of logo-free t-shirts made from organic cotton, produced by union members in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.  They’re offering these for sale at $5 each and I’ve asked them how many they have, as I would consider buying the whole lot for LabourStart and then selling them.  I’ll let you know what happens next.

Update 3.9: They’ll get back to us after their sale to let us know what’s available.  I was thinking of taking the logo-free t-shirts and having our logo printed on them after we’ve gotten them.

Written by ericlee in: Uncategorized |

Sample Motion of Support for LabourStart

The following may be of some use to you in gaining the support of your union (locally, regionally or nationally) for LabourStart. I was asked to draft it for a Union here in Canada and thought it might be (a) helpful, and (b) a trigger to some of us formally asking our Unions to support our work here on LabourStart.

If you do use it it would be great to hear back from you on the results.  It has been drafted using the traditional form for such things, but can be easily converted into plain language if your Union allows or preferrs a more accessible format for motions.


Whereas we live and work in a globalized world defined by corporations and not by working people;

And Whereas global solidarityis more important now than it has ever been in the history of our Union,

And Whereas works to connect and inform workers the world over about all our struggles,

And Whereas while we have many experiences we can share with our sisters and brothers around the world, we also have a great deal to learn from others as we all face the same threats to the existence of good, secure, healthy jobs;

And Whereas LabourStart works, without regard to national borders, union affiliation or sector of employment to build global solidarity between workers and to assist them in their struggles by mobilizing workers around the world,

Be It Therefore Resolved That our Union place a link to LabourStart on our website.

Be It Further Resolved That our Union’s website carry the relevant LabourStart newswires

Be It Further Resolved That our Union designate a member or staff person as our LabourStart Correspondent to ensure that news from and about our Union reaches the world.

And Be It Finally Resolved That our Union donate the sum of ________ to LabourStart to allow it to continue its work.

Written by derek in: Publications,Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Labour videos

I’ve just written to several people following up on the discussion we had in Washington.  Basically here are the issues I raised:

1. Databases

I see that Chris Garlock has set up two online databases using Dabble for both labour films and film festivals.  If he’s happy with these, I think he should continue to maintain them (perhaps with some volunteer help) but that LabourStart should promote them.  We would do so with permanent links on our main pages and on, as well as our usual channels (email, Twitter, Facebook, UnionBook).

The databases are here:

Films –

Festivals –

2. Labour films channel on YouTube

Does one exist?  Should we create one?  This could be branded by LabourStart or co-branded with DC Labor Council, IMF, ITF, or others.

3. Labour video/film of the year

LabourStart can do this competition and model it on the labour photo competition.  We would begin in November and aim to complete it by year’s end.  Readers would nominate films, a panel of judges would create a shortlist, readers would then vote, and we’d aim to have the winner shown at major union events such as the ITUC world congress in Vancouver in 2010.

Presumably we’d have to limit entries to films which are viewable online, so that everyone can see them.

I look forward to reading your suggestions and to working with you on this exciting project.

Written by ericlee in: |

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