New feature in campaigns: automatic Facebook cause

I’ve added the option now add a link to a Facebook Cause tied in to any of our online campaigns. The first one is in support of the jailed Vietnamese trade unionists.  You can see the cause here and note its number – 542225.  We simply copy this number into the newly-created facebook_cause_id field when creating a campaign — the Facebook cause needs to be created before you have a number, of course.

If a cause exists, it automatically appears – with a small Facebook icon – on the campaign page.

I think this could be a way to raise awareness of our online campaigns as the ’cause’ software on Facebook is actually a fairly developed organizing tool, encouraging people to invite their friends to join causes.  There might well be a viral effect if the cause is interesting enough.  We’ll see.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Social networks |

Translations of our campaigns

Every single one of the current LabourStart campaigns appears in English, French, Russian, Spanish and Italian, and that’s fantastic.  Andy, Masha, David and Andrea have ensured that our readers in those languages have a chance to participate.  We’ve done pretty well with Norwegian and Chinese as well, with the vast majority of campaigns translated promptly by Espen and Lennon.

But there are languages that we have the capacity to campaign in, and have sometimes run campaigns in, but which have recently become dormant.  These are the following:

  1. German
  2. Dutch
  3. Turkish
  4. Portuguese
  5. Polish
  6. Korean
  7. Farsi

Taken I’ve written to all those who’ve helped, and others who might help, to try to make sure that we once again have all our campaigns in those languages.

In the German case, we’ve had one of the five current campaigns translated and we have quite a few volunteers ready and willing to do the work.  Today I’ve asked them if one would agree to be the coordinator so that we could sort this out in future without me having to randomly pick one translator each time.

If we get this right, every campaign will appear in 14 languages, and we should plan to expand that to include other key languages in which we already have active news sites, such as Finnish.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Internationalization |

LabourStart in Numbers

Here are the totals with the changes since the end of last month in brackets:

Mailing lists – subscribers: 70,044 [+1,350]
LabourStart’s English language mailing list: 58,651 [+740]

Unique visits to the site this month: 558,404
Page views this month: 1,418,228

UnionBook 2.0 – members: 2,082 [+290]
Facebook – members of LabourStart group: 3,814 [+145]
Twitter – followers: 2,606 [+80]
Correspondents: 815 [+3]
Union group on Flickr: 583 [+9]
LinkedIn – members of LabourStart group: 202 [+1]

Some highlights from the mailing lists — the other large groups are:

Norwegian 2,725 [+9]
French 2,266 [+98]
Spanish 1,259 [+48]
German 803 [+2]
Italian 522 [+4]
Russian 478 [+33]
Turkish 475 [+22]
Polish 304 [-1]
Portuguese 237 [-1]
Chinese 236 [+53]
Dutch 232 [-1]
Swedish 229 [-1]
Danish 161 [-1]


In Geneva this week

I’ll be in Geneva all this week doing some work for the IMF and IUF.

I should have access to email, but please only contact me in case of emergency.

Written by ericlee in: Uncategorized |

Radio LabourStart: What’s the problem?

One week ago today I sent a message to our mailing list of correspondents (over 700 names) urging people to post videos and audio files to LabourStart.

Some videos were posted in the last week, but not a single radio show.

Not one.

I wonder why.

Basically, all it takes to put something up on Radio LabourStart is to add a file with an “.mp3” (or “.MP3”) suffix.

And there are plenty of these around.  For example:

Workers Independent News runs MP3 files every day – here’s one example: http://www.laborradio.org/files/mp3_web/2010/10/LaborRadio102010.mp3

RadioLabour creates MP3 files every day.  Here’s an example: http://www.radiolabour.net/RL5/2010/RL5-221010.mp3
Many local labour radio shows are also available for MP3 streaming.

For example, in New York City WBAI has a weekly broadcast called ‘Building Bridges – Your Community and Labor Report’.  Last week’s show was online as an MP3 file here: http://archive.wbai.org/files/mp3/101018_190001bbridges.MP3

    All three of these files are now in LabourStart’s news links database and will therefore appear automatically on Radio LabourStart.

    Please help by making sure that these labour radio shows are routinely added to our news database.  Thanks.

    Written by admin in: Radio LabourStart |

    New book of the month

    We’re trying to promote one new title every month — here’s the latest.

    Written by admin in: Publications |

    Campaigns – testing a hypothesis

    If we look at LabourStart’s ActNOW campaigns, I’d guess we’d find the following: campaigns that focus on extreme violations of workers’ rights (such as arrests and killings) attract far more support than those which build support for more ordinary disputes.

    Now let’s look at the current active campaigns to see if this is actually true:

    Jailings of trade unionists
    India: Over 500 workers jailed in dispute with Foxconn – 4,368 supporters in 6 days (728/day)
    Colombia: Free jailed university lecturer and trade unionist – 1,796 supporters in 14 days (128/day)
    Vietnam: Labour rights advocates face prison – 1,326 supporters in 1 day (1,326/day)

    Sacking of trade unionists
    Turkey: Support sacked UPS workers – 3,137 supporters in 2 months and 24 days (37/day)
    Mexico: Reinstate sacked workers, recognize union, and drop all charges – 2,048 supporters in 2 months and 22 days (24/day)
    Cambodia: Reinstate sacked construction workers – 2,015 supporters in 2 months and 2 days (32/day)

    Other repressive measures
    Iraq: Minister closes all union offices in Saddam-style move – 3,575 in 3 months (40/day)

    None of the above
    Thailand: Migrant workers have the right to workers’ compensation – 1,788 supporters in 9 days (199/day)

    Some quick thoughts on what might be happening:

    • Campaigns on Colombia and Iraq seem to occur fairly frequently and on the same themes, which might result in campaign fatigue.
    • The Turkey campaign might have done well in part because of the support of the ITF, with whom we’ve always had a good partnership on campaigns.
    • In general, campaigns about sacked workers barely go over the 2,000 mark, even after months online.
    • The publicity for all the campaigns above was essentially the same — though the Colombia and Thailand ones were publicized together which may have resulted in a smaller number of participants for both.
    Written by admin in: Campaigns |

    We launch our first campaign on Vietnam

    We’ve been asked by the Committee to Protect Vietnamese Workers to launch this campaign.  Publicity is starting now, and I’ll be asking the volunteer translators for their help today.  Please do what you can to promote this.

    Written by admin in: Campaigns |

    News briefs

    I haven’t been able to update this blog for some 4 weeks and lots has happened in that time. Here are some highlights:

    New campaigns: We launched three new campaigns – India: Over 500 workers jailed in dispute with Foxconn (4,036 messages sent so far), Thailand: Migrant workers have the right to workers’ compensation (1,703 messages), and Colombia: Free jailed university lecturer and trade unionist (1,707 messages). We’ve closed down one campaign last Friday — PSI’s campaign in support of jailed workers in Turkey.

    LabourStart.tv: The domain registrar closed our account in late September — we’re now making efforts to get it reopened. Meanwhile, I’ve changed the link on our front page to point to http://www.labourstart.org/tv which works.

    Labour and Technology podcasts: I’ve done two of these in the last month – Spammers and online communities: The challenge for trade unions (50 listeners) and Activist apps (258 listeners).

    Labour photo of the year: Derek and I have agreed to begin work on this in another couple of weeks.

    UnionBook: The old site has been completely shut down and unionbook.org and unionbook.org.uk now both point to the new site.

    Upcoming conferences: I have been invited to speak at a conference of the International Metalworkers Federation in Geneva next week — it’s called “IMF global trade union networks in TNC’s as a tool to organising and promoting solidarity”. I’ve also been invited to Istanbul to speak at a conference on trade unions new media on 27 November.

    2011 LabourStart global solidarity conference: Andrew has made some progress on this and we’ll be talking about it and beginning planning within the next few days.

    Labour’s online bookstore: We’re ready to use the new version of UCS’s software, and this should be live in a day or two. We continue to promote about one book per month.  Authors and publishers continue to contact us regularly asking us to promote books.


    LabourStart in numbers

    Here are the totals with the changes since the end of August in brackets:

    Mailing lists – subscribers: 68,694 [-163]
    LabourStart’s English language mailing list: 57,911 [-39]
    Absolute unique visitors according to Google: 22,997 [-7,156]
    UnionBook 2.0 – members: 1,792 [+600]
    Facebook – members of LabourStart group: 3,669 [+57]
    Twitter – followers: 2,526 [+112]
    Correspondents: 812 [+9]
    Union group on Flickr: 574 [+10]
    LinkedIn – members of LabourStart group: 201 [+2]

    Some highlights from the mailing lists — the other large groups are:

    Norwegian 2,716 [no change]
    French 2,168 [+6]
    Spanish 1,211 [+2]
    German 801 [+3]
    Italian 518 [no change]
    Russian 445 [+4]
    Turkish 453 [+18]
    Polish 305 [+1]
    Portuguese 238 [no change]
    Dutch 233 [+3]
    Swedish 230 [+1]
    Chinese 183 [+2]
    Danish 162 [no change]

    Written by ericlee in: Uncategorized |

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