Jan
31
2010
0

LabourStart in Numbers [6]

Here are today’s totals with the change since the end of December in brackets.  The total for mailing lists now includes all users of laborlists.org — and this now includes a small number who are not subscribers to LabourStart’s own lists.  There is no longer any redundancy — someone who is on both the English list and another list is no longer counted twice.  So the figure of 62,225 is much closer to an accurate number than we’ve had for some time now.  To make it easier to track progress on our largest list, I’m now including the total for the English LabourStart list as well.

  • Mailing lists – subscribers: 62,225 [+1,690]
  • LabourStart’s English language mailing list – 52,548
  • UnionBook – members: 4,366 [+38]
  • Facebook – members of LabourStart group: 2,764 [+160]
  • Twitter – followers: 1,987 [+47]
  • Correspondents: 732 [+10]
  • Union group on Flickr: 527 [+1]
  • LinkedIn – members of LabourStart group: 137 [+58]
Written by ericlee in: LinkedIn,Mailing list,Social networks,UnionBook |
Jan
29
2010
0

More publicity for our labour films initiative

PSI has promoted the online films database, the film festivals database, and even Tom Zaniello’s book on labour films (with a link that ensures LabourStart gets its share) in their most recent mailing to affiliates, here.

Written by ericlee in: Uncategorized |
Jan
28
2010
0

Oops

Some of you may have noticed that this blog was down for an hour — I was attempting to upgrade it to the latest version of Word Press, but failed to do so.  Will try again in a few days.

Written by ericlee in: Uncategorized |
Jan
27
2010
1

Victory at Sun – union thanks LabourStart

This is the full text of the statement issued by SACCAWU today:

After a brave and bruising strike by more than 4 500 workers lasting for seven weeks since 4 December 2009, SACCAWU and Sun International reached an agreement that effectively saw the end of the strike. Workers are expected to return from 26 January 2010 and by the latest 28 January 2010.

This strike was marked by an extreme intransigence on the side of the company, coupled with violence from the SAPS and private security on the picket-line, including racist and sexist insults, extreme provocations, assaults as well as arrests of numerous strikers, a full-time shop steward and a union official.

Despite all these provocations, workers remained united and determined, continuing their strike over the festive season throughout January as schools reopened. Despite all these pressures on working class families, the strikers remained united. This unity of the striking workers was further boosted by the solidarity from COSATU, especially by the COSATU North West Province and Moses Kotane Local. The morale of the striking workers was further boosted by the international solidarity and the Labour Start campaign that saw thousands of letters from unionists and the public in general from all over the world, sent to the management of Sun International. SACCAWU and the striking workers wish to acknowledge and express our gratitude for the solidarity, on the picket-line, in the communities and internationally, that played an important role in keeping the unity and building the morale of striking workers throughout the strike.

While the striking workers did not see all their demands met, the significance of the victory should not be underestimated. Because of the drawn out nature of the dispute, and the since we once again were on the eve wage negotiations, the Union felt it was a strategic necessity to enter into a two-year agreement, which was accepted by both parties.

The agreement reached covers the following:

• Extension of the bargaining unit to a range of supervisory categories previously excluded from the bargaining unit, while others will be included into the bargaining unit for the purposes of accessing benefits and housekeeping supervisors will also benefit from the 2009/2010 wage increases.

• The current minimum will increase from R66 479.00 to R72 295.91 from July 2009

• An across the board increase of 8.75% effective from 1 July 2009

• Back pay to workers from July 2009 will be paid to workers not later than 31st January 2010

• An increase of CPI + 1.75% or 7.75% whichever works out greater will come into effect from July 2010

• Shift allowances will be increased to R3.00 per hour from 1st July 2009

• Home ownership subsidy scheme limit shall be increased from R100 000 to R135 000

• Employees with 2 – 5 years service shall qualify for a 30% subsidy. Those with less that 5 years service were not qualifying previously.

• Educational assistance shall increase from R5 000 to R8 000

The issues of averaging of hours of work and scheduling of permanent staff and other unresolved matters will be explored in future interactions with the Company, with the Union reserving its right to pursue the legal route.

Written by ericlee in: Campaigns |
Jan
26
2010
0

Daily mailings resume

There’s been a need to resume daily — or near daily — mass mailings.  Yesterday, we needed to announce the launch of RadioLabour.net — something we’d already done for our UnionBook members. Today, the IUF has asked us to help promote a solidarity campaign in support of striking workers in South Africa (at AB Miller).  Tomorrow, we may well do a mailing to report on the end of another dispute there (Sun International).  These mailings are being kept deliberately brief.  So far, no complaints.

Written by ericlee in: Campaigns,Mailing list |
Jan
21
2010
0

Book sales up

Book sales have dramatically improved compared to where we stood a year ago.  Last April, I reported to you that our sales for the entire first quarter of 2009 in partnership with UCS totalled around $700.  This year, in the first 3 weeks of 2010, those sales total $3,238.  In other words, we might be able to achieve sales of $14,000 this quarter — 20 times the sales we had in the first quarter of 2009.  I need to keep emphasizing that this is still not a lot of money for LabourStart, as we take in only 10% of that.  But it’s great to be able to bring so many labour books to the attention of our readers and to help in any way we can.

Written by ericlee in: Publications |
Jan
18
2010
0

Haiti: What unions are doing

I’ve put together a very short message to our list in English about Haiti.  It includes links to the (now outdated) ITUC statement, to our Haiti page on LabourStart, and to the special pages on the websites of national trade union centers in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia.  I looked for, but could not find, such pages on the sites of the national trade union centers in South Africa, New Zealand and Ireland.  I presume that in mailings to our non-English lists, comrades will link to the appropriate centers (e.g., LO in Norway).  As I invited people to send in reports of what their unions are doing, I expect to get a lot more information in the next 24 hours and may send out an updated mailing tomorrow.

Written by ericlee in: Uncategorized |
Jan
08
2010
0

Conference Enthusiasm

We’ll soon have enough of an agenda for the conference to open the separate discussion thread up for input, but just to let you all know what’s new:

1.  Pre-registration is now at 550 comrades from 68 countries.

2.  We’ve an organizing committee of 17 people with meetings starting on 22.01.10.  I’ll also be touring the facilities on that date.

3.  Fundraising will begin soon, as will formal registration.  If your union would be receptive to an approach for funds, please let me know.

If you’ve any questions or suggestions about the conference, contact me at [email protected]

Written by derek in: 2010 Conference | Tags:
Jan
07
2010
0

Absence

I’ll be travelling from tomorrow (8.1) through next Friday (15.1), back at my desk on 16.1. While I expect to have email access most of that time, please do try to keep correspondence to a minimum.  Thanks.

Written by ericlee in: Uncategorized |
Jan
06
2010
0

Union films book a best-seller [updated]

Barely 24 hours after we promoted sales of Tom Zaniello’s book on labor films, we have a best-seller on our hands.

So far, 52 orders have been placed with a gross income of US $1,805.10.

While this only means £113 in income for LabourStart, it makes a real contribution to publishers, authors and book-sellers (such as UCS) who put union books out there.

And it’s part of a broader initiative (like the labour films database, the online list of labour film festivals, and the upcoming labour video of the year) to promote labour films as well.

Written by ericlee in: Publications |

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