Weekly review – 7-13 February 2013

Another very busy week:


New campaign launched in support of PKC workers in Mexico, together with IndustriALL. Two days after launch, the campaign had over 6,300 supporters — including nearly 140 for the Finnish edition. As a result, and including some earlier efforts, we now have probably over 500 Finnish email addresses.

The UK-only RMT campaign has grown from 2,600 a week ago to over 3,200 today — by far our biggest ever campaign that was only publicized in a single country, and proof of what can happen when we team up with a local union that knows how to mobilize its members.

The Korea campaign continues to grow, but not as quickly as we’d like. It’s now up to 10,250 — and needs more than 1,000 more supporters if it were to be our largest current campaign. We wrote to every PSI affiliate last week about this campaign.

Our comrades in the Philippines have now made an effort to boost support for their month-old campaign, and the result is 22 supporters in Tagalog — our first campaign ever in that language. They’ve sent us the text for a Spanish version as well, which should go live very soon.

Upcoming campaigns: We’re still waiting on a final text from Australia on a campaign to support Bob Carnegie.

Czech campaigns: Four out of six people on our list responded favorably to my request for assistance, so expect to soon see campaigns in Czech, and an active email list (we already have 65 addresses).

Esperanto campaigns: I’ve written to our small list to see if there’s any interest in doing campaigns (and reviving our news page) in this language.

Book sales: Last week I reported that we’d sold just under 500 copies in 5 weeks; today I can report that we sold a total of 543. Book sales following a campaign launch remain high – we sold 4 copies yesterday and 10 copies the day before that.  I’ve had to order another 100 copies from the publisher, as I expect to sell some at upcoming trade union events we’ve been invited to in Oxford, Bournemouth and Swansea.

UCS book: In the hands of the publisher; we should have some news on this within a few days.

Articles: I had my first articles on the British TUC’s Stronger Unions blog and the ITUC’s Equal Times website.

Fundraising: February has, so far, been a good month. We’ve taken in £4,549 so far (not all of that donations to LabourStart — some is paid work that I did). If that continues (unlikely, but we can hope), it may be our best month ever.

London fundraiser: We’ve begun serious discussion with friendly entertainers about doing a London fundraising event. More details soon.



Mexico campaign launched

Our contribution to IndustriALL’s week of action in support of Mexican workers is this campaign.  Please support it and spread the word.

This will be our first campaign in Finnish, by the way.  (The company is Finnish – as is IndustriALL’s General Secretary.)

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Internationalization |

Weekly review – 29 January – 6 February 2013


  • Korea campaign: Still growing, but not yet at 10,000.  We’ll be writing to every PSI affiliate in the next few days to get them on board.
  • Mexico campaign: We’ll be doing our bit as part of the IndustriALL-sponsored Week of Action; our campaign should be launched on Monday the 11th in support of Los Mineros; we have the full backing of the United Steelworkers in the USA and Canada on this one.
  • UK campaign: We launched our biggest-ever UK-only campaign, in cooperation with the RMT.  They emailed and texted all their members about it, producing a sudden sharp increase in the number of supporters.  This is now up to almost 2,600 supporters.  UK campaigns will now show on the UK news page.
  • Australia campaign: Expect a campaign in the next day or two in support of Bob Carnegie.


  • Tagalog: We’ve had our first two campaigns translated into this Filipino language; we’ll now begin creating newswires and publicizing this.
  • Polish: We have now had a couple of campaigns translated and a mailing done to our list.  Six of the 20 Polish people who signed up to our most recent English campaign volunteered to translate campaigns in future — so it looks like we’re reviving our project.
  • Czech: Following up on the Polish model, I contacted the small number of Czechs who had signed up for the most recent campaign in English; several of them have volunteered to help get campaigns up in their language.  We have a mailing list of 65 Czech trade unionists, so this can probably grow fairly easily into 100 or more.
  • Chinese: We’ve now added the campaigns to the home page in Chinese and Lennon has suggested a number of changes to improve the page.  The number of Chinese supporters for our most recent campaign has grown considerably thanks to Lennon’s efforts.
  • Korean: Our first campaign to get more than a handful of Korean responses has meant that we finally have a small, but growing, Korean mailing list.
  • Vietnamese: It’s been a while since we’ve had a campaign appear in Vietnamese, but we’ve gotten the latest one translated and hope to begin growing a base of supporters in this language.
  • Japanese: Mac has resumed translations — and publicity — so the Korea campaign is available in this language and has had some significant support in Japan.
  • Indonesian: We’ve now added the campaigns to the home page in this language too.  All our campaigns are now showing on their appropriate home pages — if we have campaigns in that language.  Otherwise, the English campaigns are usually shown.
  • Portuguese: We were able to get the latest campaign up and mailing out thanks to the PSI staffer in South Africa who has volunteered to help with this very important global language.
  • Finnish: We’ll have our first Finnish language campaign next week – the Mexico campaign, which targets a Finnish employer.

Annual survey on trade union use of the net: We’re going to launch this one soon, have collected some very good suggestions from senior correspondents and others.

Mailing lists: We continue the transition from MailChimp (very expensive) to Sendy (very cheap).  All lists except for English and French have been moved over.  We need to work on issues like templates and segmentation, but are on the case.

Inactive correspondents: We’ve seen a large drop in the number of correspondents we’re showing because we have one-by-one been contacting, and then dropping, those who are inactive.  We may be down to 450 by the time we’re done.

LabourStart in Numbers: See my report this week — we haven’t seen spectacular growth anywhere, but all our Asian language lists have grown in recent days.

Security: Some of the pages on our campaigns site were exposing some email addresses of supporters – these are now password-protected or in the process of becoming password-protected.

Book [1]: We now have a Kindle edition of our campaigns book — we’ll begin publicizing this shortly.  Sales of the book remain strong; we’ve sold just under 500 copies in 5 weeks.

Book [2]: I completed the first draft of a book for Union Communication Services entitled “Making Unions Stronger – Using the Internet Better”.  A second draft is being sent off tomorrow.  Thanks to Edd and Derek for reading the whole thing through.

Fundraising: Not a great response from the GUFs and others we approached recently.  Today I’ll do a mailing to our “power users” — people who support our campaigns all the time, and will know how to value our work.  I need the help of all of you to raise funds to sustain our ever-growing campaigning.



Korea campaign – now in more than 20 languages

This is a bit of a record for us.

LabourStart’s ActNOW campaigns are usually translated into 10 or 12 languages, even though we have the capacity to do many more.

The Korea campaign, which is hugely important and popular (rapidly approaching 10,000 supporters) is the first one we’ve done to be translated into more than 20 languages.

In addition to all the “usual suspects”, this campaign appears in some languages that are either new or ones we have rarely used, at least recently, such as Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Tagalog (coming), Portuguese, Polish, Farsi, Turkish, and Dutch.  (I’m now working on getting it into Czech.)  I hope that this week we’ll see this campaign in 22 languages — or more.

In all cases, we have been doing mailings as well, reviving our connection to many hundreds of our subscribers in Polish, Portuguese, Dutch, etc who have not been hearing from us regularly.

Even if some of these lists are quite small, it’s very important that we create the capacity to reach out quickly to trade unionists in so many countries.

I’m enormously appreciative of the work done this time by Andy, Espen, Gisela, Mohammed, Hyunsu, John, Lennon, Catta, Nelson, Andrea, Masha, Mac, Dirk, Molly, Eyup, Assaf, Anka, Ali, Trung, Miles and and Fambisa.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Internationalization |

LabourStart in Numbers: January 2013

The numbers in brackets are for the previous month. Strong gains are highlighted in bold.

Key developments:

  • We’ve moved from MailChimp to Sendy for nearly all our lists now.
  • We now have 28 mailing list languages.
  • 20 of those lists have 100 or more subscribers.  We are currently mailing to all 20 of those lists.
  • The 8 small lists are Indonesian, Czech, Esperanto, Bulgarian, Greek, Creole, Vietnamese and Tagalog.
  • The number of correspondents has dropped dramatically (308 so far) as we get rid of the completely inactive ones.

Mailing lists

Total for all lists: 103,324 [104,515]

  1. English: 75,280 [75,213]
  2. French: 5,922 [5,932]
  3. Spanish: 4,392 [4,356]
  4. Italian: 3,889 [3,879]
  5. Turkish: 3,106 [3,111]
  6. German: 2,586 [2,551]
  7. Norwegian: 2,344 [2,333]
  8. Russian: 1,935 [1,949]
  9. Dutch: 803 [781]
  10. Chinese: 708 [629]
  11. Polish: 312 [310]
  12. Portuguese: 243 [243]
  13. Arabic: 231 [184]
  14. Japanese: 230 [ 209]
  15. Hebrew: 208 [208]
  16. Farsi: 206 [201]
  17. Finnish: 187 [186]
  18. Swedish: 183 [185]
  19. Danish: 144 [146]
  20. Korean 143 [93]

Social networks

UnionBook –
Members: 5,417 [5,389]

Facebook –
Like LabourStart.org page (English): 6,098 [5,877]
Members of LabourStart group: 4,884 [4,849]
Like LabourStart page (French): 267 [245]
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 87 [74]

Twitter followers –
English: 8,441 [8,115]

Union group on Flickr: 719 [718]

LinkedIn – LabourStart group: 1,153 [1,114]


Correspondents: 741 [1,049]
Site visits: 597,018 [599,459]


New campaign launched – UK only

We’ve launched this new campaign today at the request of the RMT union.  We may have another later today from another UK union, Unite.

Written by admin in: Campaigns |

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