Weekly update – 11-23 June

OK, so not weekly.  But I was in Copenhagen for three days last week attending the founding congress of IndustriALL global union, so that’s why I’m late with this roundup of some recent news.

Social Media: I began using SocialBro to increase our visibility on Twitter (see note below).  We’ve gone up from 6,414 to 6,642 followers since the beginning of this month – a growth of about 10 per day.  (We picked up 44 in one day thanks to a mention in one of our mailings.)  At this rate, we’ll reach 8,500 followers by the end of this year.  On Facebook, our Page – www.facebook.com/labourstart.org –  is rapidly approaching the size of our Group, as we had hoped.  The Page has 4,627 ‘likes’ while the Group has 4,771 ‘members’.  As you may recall, there are certain advantages to the Page, which we built long after the Group was launched.  At the very end of March last year, we started our Page (with zero followers) and we had 4,332 members of the LabourStart Group.  So you can see that all the growth is taking place in recruiting new fans or followers for the Page, which has been growing at the rate of about 10 per day, just like Twitter.

Campaigns: I posted something about campaigns that have zero followers earlier this month and had several interesting responses (see below).  Two new campaigns were launched this week, one for the ITF and one for IndustriALL; ten days ago we launched our Li Wangyang campaign which is now over 5,700 messages sent. Two campaigns are closing this weekend – Mexico and Colombia.  I fixed character encoding issues in the news iframe that appears on campaign pages.  I also fixed the script that shows supporters for a campaign so that it doesn’t update the overall numbers (this made it look like campaign numbers went up and down throughout the day). I fixed the mycampaigns script (which shows you which campaigns you have participated in) so it works with the new system and with different languages, again.  I’ve been having a discussion with our volunteer translators for Turkish; we now may have a solution that ensures timely translations of both campaigns and mailings, which is very important now that we have 1,244 Turkish addresses (up from 778 since the beginning of the year – a gain of 466, up more than 37%).

Mailing lists: There’s now a prominent link on our home page in English to sign up to the mailing list (this had disappeared for a while, though we have it for other languages) – and I removed all traces I could find of links to join any of our earlier mailing lists.  The total size of the lists is 98,356.

Writing: I had an article published in In These Times (about the launch of IndustriALL).  I’ll be doing another tomorrow for Solidarity.  I approached a number of other publications about writing on the same subject — Red Pepper, Progress and the Big Issue — but none of them responded.

Donations: The only big donation in the last couple of weeks came from LO Norway, which gave NOK 30,000 (£3,200).  We’ve raised over £9,000 since the beginning of April, with another £6,400 in our Canadian account.  (Derek can give a breakdown of which Canadian unions have made substantial donations or pledges.)  This is pretty much equal to what we had raised last year by this time.


  • We’ve seen the following donations from Canadian unions bringing us to roughly the same total as we brought in ALL last year:

    * UFCW – $5,000CAD
    * CUPE – $3,000CAD
    * ATU – $1,000CAD
    * CALL – $1,000CAD
    * OECTA Toronto – $200CAD

    In addition we’ve received a number of donations from individuals which I haven’t been through and sorted yet.

    I attended a Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers (CALL) conference (at their expense) to be part of a panel and used that as an excuse to do some fundraising. Contributions from law firms are unlikely, but I am somewhat optimistic we’ll see some from individual lawyers. I have their membership list and intend to send an appeal this weekend.

    Of the remaining unions and centrals that I contacted I am following up with one group as I expect to see donations from them. I’m hopeful of another $2-$5,000.

    I’ve never made much of an effort to fundraise amongst our central labour bodies before (local Labour Councils, provincial Federations, and the Canadian Labour Congress). Following-up with them will be time-consuming and with no history of donations from them I’m not certain if it will be worth it.

    But even if no donations result the effort does us a bit of good in that it raises our profile somewhat I think.

    The last list has unions undergoing some significant financial (and other) problems. I will likely leave them alone.

    In all I approached about 50 unions, centrals and law firms (before the CALL conference). Each received an e-mailed letter, a paper letter (same). Follow-up is by phone. Donors will get a standardized thank-you letter.

    Comment | June 23, 2012
  • derek

    Oops. Missed one donation: the CCU gave us $250CAD.

    Comment | June 23, 2012
  • Eric Lee

    Great work, Derek. I hope others will be inspired.

    Comment | June 23, 2012
  • derek

    It’s all pretty simple and with the exception of the telephone calls for follow-up, not at all time-consuming.

    Comment | June 27, 2012

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress | Aeros Theme | TheBuckmaker.com WordPress Themes