LabourStart in Numbers: UnionBook grows by 20%!

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

Mailing lists – subscribers: 70,672 [+628]
LabourStart’s English language mailing list: 59,004  [+353]

Unique visits to the site this month: 553,150 (-5,254)
Page views this month: 1,455,840 (+37,612)

Popular language home pages (new this month):

  • English 47,870
  • Norwegian 6,959
  • French 4,583
  • Finnish 2,456
  • Russian 2,125
  • Polish 1,838
  • Dutch 1,414
  • Italian 1,122

UnionBook 2.0 – members: 2,483 [+401]
Facebook – members of LabourStart group: 3,887  [+73]
Twitter – followers: 2,687 [+81]
Correspondents: 825 [+10]
Union group on Flickr: 592 [+9]
LinkedIn – members of LabourStart group: 237 [+35]

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

Norwegian 2,731 [+6]
French 2,349 [+83]
Spanish 1,268 [+9]
German 804 [+1]
Italian 531 [+9]
Russian 486 [+8]
Turkish 485 [+10]
Polish 302 [-2]
Portuguese 238 [+1]
Chinese 243 [+7]
Dutch 232 [no change]
Swedish 228 [-1]
Danish 159 [-2]


Turkey: Report from two-day visit to Istanbul

I’ve just gotten back from a couple of days in Turkey where I spoke at Saturday’s conference on unions and new media, held in Istanbul and organized by TAREM, a pro-union NGO.

I had the opportunity to also meet with the general secretary of TUMTIS, the union currently in a fight with UPS over union recognition, as well as a comrade from the metalworkers union.  We’ve done online campaigns on behalf of both unions.

I also had the chance for extensive discussions with the international affairs person at DISK, the country’s more left-wing national trade union center.  Among other things, he told me that every time he meets trade unionists from elsewhere in the world and mentions he’s from Turkey, they tell him they know about Turkish unions and their struggles from LabourStart.  While I was there, he met up with two representatives of KMU, the leftist union center in the Philippines, and when the heard he was meeting with me, they sent regards and mentioned LabourStart’s support for their campaigns.  All confirmation of the effectiveness of the work we do, especially our campaigns.

I also discussed continuing cooperation with TAREM – including the possibility of holding our 2012 Global Solidarity Conference in Istanbul.  They welcomed this idea with enthusiasm.

Notes for my talk follow: (more…)

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |

UnionBook now features ‘social sign-in’

I’ve blogged about this just now on UnionBook — I think it should make it even easier to recruit new members.

Written by admin in: UnionBook |

There is power in a union

Indeed there is.  And it’s LabourStart’s latest book of the month – check it out here.

Written by admin in: Publications |

Friday afternoon updates – in brief

I’ve chased up with correspondents and translators about our new language editions (Tamil, Georgian, Ukrainian, Serbian and Hindi) none of which have gone live yet.  I’ve noted also a ‘Plan B’ in each case where we continue to get no responses from our comrades.  It’s important that all the languages we list have fresh content and we need to identify people who can help consistently with each one.

Next Friday I’m off to Istanbul to speak at a trade union conference on new media – my second visit to Turkey this year as a guest of the unions.

All our recent campaigns have now been published in Turkish thanks to a team effort lead by a new comrade, Deniz.

The front page of Turkish LabourStart now features our campaigns in that language – it used to show only the English ones.

We asked BWI for permission to shut down the Cambodian construction workers’ campaign, which is now 3 months old.  Of course we’ve asked what the result of the campaign has been so that we can report back to our readers.

I’ve begun intensifying our use of Facebook Causes and have now emailed everyone in our largest cause, the one supporting the jailed Vietnamese union activists.

The campaigns software has been fixed – now when you send off a message and see the page asking you to do more, clicking on the link to show all current campaigns takes you directly to your language (instead of to an old page that showed a bunch of flags and languages).

We launched a second Colombian campaign this week at the request of Justice for Colombia, an NGO backed by the British TUC.  JFC has promised to promote the campaign on their website and to their lists.

I wrote a followup email to the comrade who has agreed to coordinate the team of German volunteer translators as none of our recent campaigns or emailings have gone out in that language – even though we have volunteers ready to do so.

I’ve made a number of suggestions to Andrew regarding work towards our conference in Sydney which is only one year away. These include regular phone calls, a closed group on UnionBook, and following up with our correspondents in the region.

We expect to launch a Finnish version of our campaigns starting with the Nokia one (of course) but have not gotten a correctly formatted version of the file we need yet from the metal workers.

I’ve been invited to speak at two union training events in the UK in the near future on the subject of online campaigning and social networks — one is for the UCU (academics union) in Leeds; the other will be a series of events for TSSA.


November fundraising – solidarity donations

Following up on our 1 November appeal to readers, we’ve had some terrific responses both from individuals and unions.

  • The Norwegian union Industri Energi has agreed to donate £5,000
  • The International Metalworkers Federation has donated £1,257
  • The Finnish national trade union centre SAK is donating £850
  • in the USA donated £500

Individual donors gave several thousand pounds — I’ll produce a report on this in the coming days.

Please encourage you local and national union to donate as well.  Thanks.

Written by admin in: Fund-raising |

Labour Photo of the Year – problems

There has not been a great uptake to this year’s Labour Photo of the Year competition.  This may be in part due to our failure to promote it with a dedicated mailing (it was included with some urgent campaigns).  Today I’ll be writing to all members of UnionBook (2,192 people), all LabourStart correspondents (716 people), and all members of our Facebook group (3,854 people); tomorrow we’ll mail to our lists but there will have to be other things in the message.  Please do what you can to promote this competition.  Full details are here. Thanks.

Written by admin in: Labour Photo of the Year |

Towards a LabourStart iPhone app

I’ve taken the very first step by registering to be an Apple developer.  More updates soon.

Written by admin in: Mobile |

New campaign launched, we campaign in two new languages and our fundraising appeal goes out

This morning we launched our Vietnam campaign in Vietnamese and in Korean as well.

And this afternoon, we were asked by the International Metalworkers Federation to launch a new Foxconn campaign to replace the old one, which we’ve done.  There’s a Facebook cause as well.

Results have begun to come in following up on yesterday’s semi-annual LabourStart fundraising appeal.  So far, 59 donations have come through totalling approximately US $1,800.

Busy day …


Four more languages on LabourStart – Georgian, Serbian, Tamil and Ukrainian

Volunteer translators have stepped forward and given us frameworks for LabourStart in Tamil, Georgian and Serbian and we’re waiting for the Ukrainian version as well.

I’m working with the translators and others to make sure that we can begin a steady flow of news stories in these languages — and eventually to do campaigns and mailing lists in them.

Tamil has over 65 million speakers; Serbian has over 8 million; Georgian has over 4 million; and Ukrainian has almost 40 million.

In other words, if we can get these 4 languages up and running with labour news, we’re reaching out to an audience that’s nearly twice the size of the population of the U.K.

Written by admin in: Internationalization |

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