Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Picket Lines Need Your E-Support

61 building service workers at the Toronto Dominion Centre in Toronto were locked-out and then fired by their employer when they refused to agree to the gutting of their collective agreement. They were forced to celebrate Christmas on a picket line almost 6 months after being forced off the job. Their union, CEP, is asking you to send a message to Cadillac Fairview, the company that manages the TD Centre. Tell CF that enough is enough! A copy of your message will go to the workers on the picket lines.

30 seconds is all it takes: go HERE to send a message to Caddillac Fairview.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

LabourStart Conference Getting Wild Reception

We were expecting some pre-registrations for sure, but in the event the response to a very limited call-out has been overwhelming. Thanks to all who have responded, you're helping us with conference logistics, as well as the agenda.

As of today 382 people from 64 countries have pre-registered.

We know not all who have expressed an interest will be able to come, but it is encouraging to know so many would at least like to.

If you have not yet pre-registered and would like to, go HERE.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2010 LabourStart Conference Pre-registration Now Open

If you think you might be able to attend the LabourStart conference on 9-11 July 2010 at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, please pre-register. This does not obligate you -- it just gives us a sense of who is interested in attending.


Pre-register HERE.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2010 LabourStart Conference

For the first time in Canada. Save the date: 9-11 July. McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

Global to local solidarity online.

Shanghai to Sudbury.

Stay tuned for details.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Int'l Labour News Radio Show Coming

A group of international union activists is getting together to start a labour audio show on the Internet. The show, which will be hosted by labour educator Marc Belanger, will feature news about union activities around the globe. The 20 minute audiocast, called Solidarity News, will be presented on every Monday.

RadioLabour is currently looking for volunteer reporters to provide one or two minute English-language audio reports about union activities in their region of the world. The reporters would be expected to provide their audio-report (as an MP3 file) and a written script of the report. To volunteer, or find out more about the project, email Marc at:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Is Union Membership a Human Right?

The latest edition of Radio Netherlands' "The State We're In" asks if forming a union is a human right. Available as a pod off iTunes. Always an interesting show and the only such in English I know of with a human rights theme. Highly recommended as regular listening.

The show's web page is HERE.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Start the Week With Some Solidarity

Welcome to Monday (unless you’re checking in on the weekend, in which case sorry for even mentioning Monday!).

Mining multinational giant Vale is taking on its workers around the world. Concessions are all that’s on offer. That’s the bad news. The good? The workers are fighting back. Globally.

3,500 Steelworkers are in month four of their strike against Vale in Canada. Brazilian Vale workers are taking Canadian union members to their bargaining table, saying if Vale won’t talk to them in Canada, they can in Brazil. Unions in places as far-flung as New Caledonia are telling Vale they won’t talk while the Canadians are out.

German workers are demanding that their employers refuse delivery of Vale products. Swedish unions are using their seats on company boards to push for industrial bans on Vale goods. Indonesian unions are bringing Canadian workers into remote mine sites to speak to their members about their common employer’s tactics.

Join them. USW, the Union representing the Canadian workers, and LabourStart, the international labour news and campaigns website, are running a global e-mail campaign against Vale, in support of the strikers and their communities around the world.

In less than 30 seconds you can become part of something really big. And you can make it bigger. One e-mail at a time.

Join the campaign and tell every contact, friend and relative you have.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Winner in Labour Photo of the Year Contest

All finalists will receive a one year Flickr Pro Account.

In addition, the winning photo, "Manual Labour" by K M Asad, has earned him a further one year Pro Account. You can see the winner by going here.

Congrats to all, this year's contest was a great success.

Thanks to everyone who entered, to the finalists, and to our panel of judges. Click on the thumbnails here to see each of the finalists.

Don't forget to look over the photos and remember that most are free to use on your union's website or in its newsletter. Even those which are copyrighted can be used if you contact the photographer and get permission.

All the entries can be found here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Workers rights campaigner savagely attacked - protest messages urgently needed

In case you're not (yet) on the LabourStart mailing list:

Ainur Kurmanov is the kind of organizer every union wants to have. He campaigned with workers at the Almatinskii Wagon Factory, who went out on strike, and the result was hundreds of jobs saved. He organized workers at the Almatinskii Heavy Engineering Plant and the plant was saved from bankruptcy and collapse. Because of his efforts, Ainur has made some enemies in the Kazakh capital of Almaty, where he lives.

And a little more than two weeks ago, those enemies took their revenge.

Ainur was coming home when he was savagely attacked from behind, beaten with a metal pipe. He suffers from concussion and has a broken finger. Someone was trying to send a message to Ainur and to the workers of Kazakhstan.

It is time that we sent a message back.

The international trade union movement is calling on the Kazakh government to launch an "immediate, unbiased and transparent investigation" of the attack on Ainur.

That they have not yet done so is a bad sign. Next year Kazakhstan assumes the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). This is a great time, therefore, to remind the Kazakh government of its responsibilities as a law-abiding nation.

Please take a moment to send off your message of protest HERE.

And please spread this message to your fellow trade union members and all those who care about human rights.

Thank you -- and have a great weekend.

Eric Lee

Sunday, October 4, 2009

CUPE Convention Online

It hasn't really started yet, but it feels like all 600,000 members are here and jostling in the halls of the Montreal Convention Centre.

But on the off chance that you're not here and would like to look at Convention reports, schedules, agendas, event locations (or are here and lost any of the same) and follow the debates, CUPE has a way for you do do all this online.

Click HERE.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Support Building Maintenance Workers at TD Centre

CEP has asked LabourStart to run the following campaign. Show your support, follow the link at the end of this post.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation (CF) is a huge real estate corporation that owns several landmark properties in Toronto. CF locked out 61 building maintenance workers at the Toronto Dominion Centre on 14 June 2009. Prior to the lockout CF's Final Offer was aimed at destroying the Union.

Their proposals intended to silence the Local Union Representatives, eliminate the current employee complement and undermine the CEP's legal bargaining rights. They wanted our members with an average of over 20 years of service to reapply for their jobs and accept a new probationary period. They wanted to pick and choose who they would keep and discharge those they no longer wanted without just cause; they wanted to eliminate older workers, get rid of employees with disabilities, and rid themselves of anyone who stood up to them. On July 14, 2009 CF announced it was terminating all of its employees in maintenance positions at the TD Centre in Toronto.

The Union has filed charges of Bad Faith Bargaining and the Ontario Labour Relations Board commenced hearings on 31 July 2009. That process will take time, meanwhile the workers are without their jobs. Help us get them back now by sending a protest message to CF.

Takes 30 seconds or less: CLICK HERE

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Guide to Union Blogging Out

The 2009 edition of John Wood's TIGMOO Guide to Union Blogging is now available. See the graphic link down a bit on the right.

Friday, September 4, 2009

2009 Labour Photo of the Year Contest

Last year, LabourStart sponsored the first-ever international Labour Photo of the Year competition. It was a huge success. Photographers from all over the world submitted their pictures and a panel of expert judges selected a short-list of the five best. Our readers then voted in their thousands to choose the winning photo.

Today we're very pleased to announce the second annual Labour Photo of the Year. We're doing this because we want to encourage and recognize the talents of worker-photographers around the world, and at the same time to encourage them to tell the stories of our struggles in photos. The deadline for submissions of photos is 30 September.

Full details are HERE.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Online Campaigning Job

From the good folks at Make Poverty History:

We have an exciting job opportunity in Ottawa for the right person. We are looking for a full-time Online Campaign Coordinator to make our website and emails come alive.

If you are interested in helping alleviate poverty around the world and here at home, and have experience creating websites, writing engaging blog entries and sending calls to action by email to thousands of people, this is the perfect job for you.

The Make Poverty History campaign is gearing up to make a big splash at the G8 meeting in June next year, and you can be a part of this important project. We need someone to take charge of our online communications - web, email, social networking sites, heck, even Twitter - and make them a compelling call to action for Canadians who want to see an end to poverty.

Interested in learning more? Download the job description and application instructions here. We have an exciting job opportunity in Ottawa for the right person. We are looking for a full-time Online Campaign Coordinator to make our website and emails come alive.

If you are interested in helping alleviate poverty around the world and here at home, and have experience creating websites, writing engaging blog entries and sending calls to action by email to thousands of people, this is the perfect job for you.

The Make Poverty History campaign is gearing up to make a big splash at the G8 meeting in June next year, and you can be a part of this important project. We need someone to take charge of our online communications - web, email, social networking sites, heck, even Twitter - and make them a compelling call to action for Canadians who want to see an end to poverty.

Interested in learning more? Download the job description and application instructions here.

Better hurry, we will be accepting applications until midnight on Tuesday, September 8th.

PS: there's a French version of this ad here

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Twice I lied: Videos of LabourStart Conference Events

John Sweeney (President, AFL-CIO) welcomes delegates HERE.

Jimmy Hoffa JR. (President, IBT) at the Teamster reception for LabourStarters says a few kind words HERE.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

OK, So, I lied. Sue Me

The full text of AFL-CIO President John Sweeney's welcome to delegates at the LabourStart conference in Washington, August 2009: HERE

Last on the 2009 LabourStart Conference

From the AFL-CIO Blog:

LabourStart and the U.S. Union Movement: Making Connections

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

AFL-CIO Blog on the LabourStart Conference

Welcome LabourStart

Opening Remarks by AFL-CIO President

CWA/TNG President on the Crisis in the American News Industry

LabourStart Conference

The vacation bit is done and the conference has started. Day 1 opened by AFL-CIO President Sweeney, lunch talk on the crisis in the US news industry by Bernie Lunzer, President of the CWA/TNG. Teamsters hosted a reception afterwards at their HQ.

Much fun, good people, including folks like Mahesh (India) and Roy (USA) whom I only get to see at these things. No time to report more as am too busy trying to fit in a trip to the Y and some work that has found its way into my inbox.

Photos HERE for any who are interested.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Popping-in on the US Healthcare Debate

Day 3 in Washington, a bit of sightseeing before the LabourStart conference begins.

I cannot say 'hi' to an American without being asked about the Canadian medicare system. I can't remember anything since perhaps the Meech Lake referendum (and mebbe not even then) that would compare to this.

The Big Lie approach alive and well. Some truly bizarre TV adverts, and while news from the politically-biased or affiliated networks like Fox is quite bizarre at the best of times I gather, it has now have gone quite loonie. After watching Fox for an hour you begin to wonder if the bit of Canada you live in is the only part where you need government approval to take a leak or get out of bed in the morning, where people aren't camped out at hospitals begging for treatment.

'Town Hall' meetings where people show up wearing handguns or waving rifles, making the point that they will defend their right to live (and die) without state-supplied medical care, stories about 'militias' (not really, more like private armies made up of right-wing loons with automatic weapons) getting ready to defend their communities against forced euthanasia and more. One such was interviewed about his 'preparedness' while he was making bombs out of dynamite.

I'm hoping and assuming much of this is the news media focussing on the nutters, but it's hard to tell and there's so much of it...

Hard time yesterday at the liquor store convincing people that government committees don't order euthanasia when the cash register is empty or to a quota set by some committee of bureaucrats somewhere, that politicians, budgets and bureaucrats don't decide whether I get my tonsils pulled. All the opposed had stories that (a) were quite crazy, and (b)they were convinced were true.

Our beer got warm while I tried, and failed, to explain how we see medical care as a civic right, like voting or freedom of expression or garbage collection, fire and police services.

Sad. And very odd.

One fun thing: most white Americans we have spoken with are opposed to Obama's anemic plan, all Black and Latina/os either in favour or are curious about how our system works.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Spammers Target UnionBook

Holy snappin' arseholes! It takes a lot to get me off one of my fave activities (Geri thinks of it as a manifestation of my OCD): travel planning at 0500 in a strange city.

Day 2 in Washington (hello housebreakers, we have a housesitter!) and I should be planning today's walking, but am flummoxed by the intensity of the spammer attack on UnionBook. I have never seen this from the inside before. Astounding.

Amazing. Really. If a crowd on a streetcorner (like the Jews for Jesus loon we ran into yesterday at the White House, only a herd of them) came after me like these spammers are at UnionBook, I'd lose patience right quick and whack them. Or at least give them a sharp elbow. Hopefully in the neighbourhood of a deep hole with sharpened poles stuck in the bottom.

All that energy and time in the cause of making me happier with the state of my nether region or getting me connected with a Canadian pharmacy (I can walk from home to ten or so, thanks very much).

Trying to get a fix on this with some U. of Oxford Internet Institute podcasts on security and spammers and by heading to our hotel's gym to work out with a punching bag.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Iraqi Labour Rights Petition Now Online

The following is from US Labour Against the War and is directed at the US government, but the online petition it asks us to sign is open to all, regardless of nationality.

Almost immediately after the fall of the dictatorship, a vibrant, independent, democratic and pluralistic trade union movement sprang forth. Soon after the invasion in 2003, the U.S. tossed out most of the repressive Saddam-era legal code. But there was one law it kept on the books and enthusiastically enforced – the 1987 law that Saddam Hussein imposed making it illegal for public sector and enterprise employees to join unions or negotiate the terms of their employment. The subsequent Iraqi Interim Governing Authority continued to enforce this undemocratic denial of worker rights.

The new Iraqi government imposed additional restrictions on worker and union rights. It seized union bank accounts and froze their assets. U.S. and Iraqi forces have raided and ransacked union offices and assaulted and detained union leaders. Management of public enterprises, including the oil industry, was directed not to recognize or bargain with unions.

But the Iraqi labor movement continues to grow despite harassment, beatings, kidnappings, detention, torture and even murder of trade union activists.

Sign the petition HERE.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

UnionBook Improved

UnionBook has just been upgraded to the latest version of Elgg.

Much-improved. New features and easier, more intuitive navigation.

If you haven't already, take a gander now by clicking HERE.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

FSLN Victory in 1979

20450018, originally uploaded by dblackadder.

Today is the 30th anniversary of the victory of the FSLN (the Sandinistas) in Nicaragua.

Photo is of the FNT (FSLN-affiliated labour central) monument to the workers and peasants who fought with the FSLN against the Somoza dictatorship. Situated in the centre of Managua devastated (and never really rebuilt) by an earthquake in the early 1970's.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Hero: Tamie Dolny

First she does a one-off piece for the Toronto Star on her experiences as a 16 year-old lifeguard on strike (see it HERE), now she has a job as a regular picket line columnist for the same paper (see HERE).

Read the second article especially.

Tamie for CLC president!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Organizing Video Going Viral in Canada?

By John Wood at the UK's TUC, it's bouncing all over the place, appearing even on the Toronto Star's website.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

South Africa: Shop stewards sacked for safety strike

At the Enstra paper mill in South Africa, 19 shop stewards were suspended from work and now await discipline. They are charged with inciting workers to strike after a worker refused to do unsafe work.

Just 30 seconds of your time and you can send a message or protest to the company HERE

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Support Net Neutrality

Day of Action for Iran – Demonstration at Iranian Embassy in Ottawa

Canadian unionists and human rights activists will protest outside the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa on June 26th as part of the Global Day of Action called to support the rights of workers and against the persecution of labour activists. Members of CUPE, CUPW, CTF, NUPGE, PSAC and CAW will be there as well as Amnesty International and Paul Dewar, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic. Activists from the Iranian-Canadian community including the non-partisan Solidarity Campaign with the Workers’ Struggles in Iran will gather to demand the respect for human rights and workers rights in Iran.

Speakers include:

Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada
Denis Lemelin, National President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Paul Dewar, MP Ottawa Centre, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic
Rhonda Spence, International Officer, Canadian Union of Public Employees

Demonstrators will call on the Iranian government to:

• Free all arrested workers, students and political prisoners
• Justice for people who have been killed or injured by security forces during recent protests in Iran
• For the right to organize independent organizations and for the right to free speech, protest and freedom of assembly
• Free bus workers’ union leaders, Mansour Osanloo, and Ebrahim Madadi, and Farzad Kamangar, a teacher on death row
• Drop all charges and prison sentences against labour, social and political activists in Iran, including May Day detainees and those arrested during recent protests.

Where: The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran – 245 Metcalfe St. Ottawa
Time: 12:00 to 2:00 PM
Date: Friday June 26, 2009

For more information, please contact:

415-835-8296/ or

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Iranian Workers: Friday is the Global Day of Action

Friday is the Global Day of Action for Iranian Workers, planned, believe it or not, long before the current protests started. Iranian trade unions suffer tremendous repression. Leaders are routinely fired for organizing at work and are often imprisoned or physically attacked.

Attendance at union events can lead to punishments like flogging.

Amnesty International and the global labour movement are organizing solidarity for Iran's unions. Send a message of solidarity in 30 seconds HERE.

And while you're there, in a couple of clicks you can find out about events taking place in your region.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Child Labour Vid on YouTube

Great new child labour campaign video from the ITUC HERE.

Tips For Bargaining in a Recession

As opposed to recession bargaining.

A bit of useful (I hope) fluff to be found HERE.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Uses for Thumbtacks

Eric Lee at has discovered a new use for the Thumbtack. Read his blog entry HERE.

I'm thinking of starting a Thumbtack Fan Club.

Iran's 'Twitter Revolution'

Hardly. But you wouldn't know it to read the nerd, and much mainstream, press.

First, it all gets translated into meatspace, real action by real people, and that is, or should be the story.

Second, if there's a tech story in there somewhere it's in the use of much more mundane stuff like SMS.

Here's a first: I'm pointing you (all three of you, Hi Sis!) to a Business Week article HERE.

Better source-wise is this piece from (thanks to John Wood for the reference). It's also a little more general, useful. You can read it HERE.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Seize the Means of Transmission! Broadband to the People!

TVO Search Engine's segment on the net neutrality forum last week used my presence and Olivia Chow's as evidence that the neutrality movement is dominated by the "the left, maybe the far left".

She can't be the 'far' bit, so it must be me.

Mmmm...I am feeling kinda Bolshie today, but I thought was just because I'm not drinking decafe this morning.

You can subscribe to the excellent Search Engine pod off iTunes or HERE.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Windsor Strike Rally Audio and Photos

I attended the Windsor muni strike rally yesterday. Two locals out for two months over a demand for an end to retiree benefits - by a city council that gives itself lifetime benefits.

I used my cute little Thumbtack to record some march noises and a few speeches. They're available off the FILES section on my UnionBook page HERE.

Stills of the march and rally are on Flickr HERE.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reviews of the Net Neutrality Town Hall Meeting in Toronto

The Good: HERE

The Bad: HERE

The Ugly: HERE or read just the bit about me below.

"you know the guy sitting in the middle was a staff representative for CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) DOESN’T have a website (if you don’t have one today you are pretty much irrelevant in my books) and i bet you a hundred bucks you can’t remember (w/o listening to the podcast) one goddamn thing he said - i sure as hell can’t. why was that dude even there again? what? nobody knows? even less relevant than sass and i? yeah, fuck yourselves and you’re welcome."

Thanks for not saying anything about my double chin or shirt Raymi. Whew! :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oh! What a Throttled Web We Weave

Final details on the net neutrality event in Toronto on Monday HERE.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cool Site of the Month...Mebbe the Year

I won't try to describe it as I won't be able to capture all that it's got going for it...and you. Just visit it and start spreading the word, adding some content.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Why Granma Could Walk Barefoot in the Snow to School

From Bayer, the good people (though apparently not as good as they used to be) who bring us aspirin.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

SOAS staff on strike for Stalin

When was the last time you saw a headline like that???

But, as it happens, it's true. Details HERE.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thumbtack Obsession

I am still obsessing about this little gizmo.

So, imagine that you have a strike. Hand out a few dozen of these things to picketers with iPods and Hey! Presto!: instant strike podcast with interviews and feedback from the lines.

Or do what CGIL did, and send out a few folks, each with a small bag of these (and at $13US minus the bulk discount you can afford to). They hand them out like candy to people with iPods in view at a demo or march, along with a card encouraging them to record their thoughts and those of their co-demonstrators and activists, then send them along to a specified e-mail address.

Instant audio record of the demo, some useful campaign material perhaps, and just as importantly, a broader, deeper bit of feedback than you'll normally get from such.

Net Neutrality Event in Toronto

Internet 'throttling' and 'pay-for-premium service' (really 'don't pay more, go slow') policies threaten our access to the internet. SaveOurNet and are hosting a town hall discussion on the impact of throttling on us all.

Monday 8 June 2009.

For details click HERE.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Film on DVD About Zanon Ceramics

The Heart of the Factory is now available on DVD and you can order online.

Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein's The Take was great, this is a follow up by Ernesto Ardito and Virna Molina, two Argentinian film makers. It's less about the actual take and the transition period afterwards, more about the long-term; the adjustments and struggles of the workers and their relationship with the surrounding community.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day! Join the Party in Windsor

Join the striking CUPE members at the City of Windsor today. Details HERE.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thumbtack Update

Can you tell I am easily obsessed with the latest gadget?

I recorded some speeches and some interviews at yesterday's Day of Mourning event in Cobourg (Ontario). It was windy, there's some of that in the recordings, but they're still useable.

Anyone any tips on reducing the wind interference?

The Bad Guys and UnionBook: They May Not Like it, But They Have Noticed it

One of several US employer-side lawyers who have noticed UB. This guy is quite twisted in his reasoning. See HERE.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sitting on a Thumbtack

Well, perhaps not sitting on it, but keeping it in a pocket for sure. Perhaps even my back pocket.

The Switcheasy Thumbtack that is. The size of a plastic pushpin, it's a $13USD microphone that allows Nano 4G and Touch 2G owners to record on their iPods. There are mics that get slightly better reviews, but none as small.

Or near as cheap either. Which, given that my thought is to encourage 'citizen journalism' amongst union members, is a far bigger deal.

It will be a while before I check it out other than indoors and under near ideal conditions, but so far, so good. I'm actually rather impressed, but that initial take may be the gadget freak in me coming out (not that it is ever far from the surface). Clarity, recording levels and sensitivity/distance - all quite good. Given the physical design and size I'm a little concerned about how it will perform in a wind, and it'll be interesting to see and hear how it handles lots of background noise.

More later here on those points.

The idea is to have it and my iPod handy to record quick and dirty interviews and such which can then be sent on to a podder or two. And then to convince millions others to do the same...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

UnionBook Splash in India

From TechGoss, an Indian IT magazine, click HERE.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Power of Brand Names

This is more a small rant followed by a plea for help than a posting.

I was having a chat with a relative last week, just after he opened his own small business. Brave fellow, he quit a job he didn't like and in middle age is giving his dream a try.

The conversation focussed on the limited budget he has to work with, the limited time he has to make the business work and the need to contain costs and spend what he money he does have on inventory rather than overhead.

The conversation (naturally) turned to software. We compared notes on Open Office versus Microsoft Office. He had a few words to say about the interface not being what he is used to (his former employer was a Microsoft customer), but it was also clear the whole open source idea was unfamilar and made him a bit uncomfortable.

Should he, could he, trust it to work and work predictably? If something goes wrong is there reliable tech support available? Can he afford to chance it?

Nope, he's paying it safe and spending some of his very limited capital on MS Office.

I am making a pitch for Open Office, Firefox etc. in the latest Webwork column in Our Times so I've been thinking about how to break the geek barrier. And talking to the family's first small biz owner brought some of the issues around open source adoption into sharper focus.

When I posted a request on UnionBook for anecdotes about Open Office and comparisons between the two suites, all I got back was a string of pro-Open Office stories. It does this better, it does that faster, it does things Microsoft hasn't implemented yet...on and on.

How to convince the 'average user' though? The 'nibble at the corporations' line works with a very small minority. And not at all where you might expect it: with unions and other progressive organizations. I'm not aware of a single one of any size that hasn't gone for the MS suite.

I could use some ideas on this. Help.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Revenge is Mine Sayeth the Geek

The first time I was booted-off Facebook it was for accumulating something like 800 'friends'.

As of today I am approaching 2750 'friends' (should we change the title to 'comrades' or 'siblings'?) on UnionBook.

Not only that, but the time I spend on UB is actually useful.

Though it is getting lonely in the Model Airplane group. :-)

Colombian Union Activists Need Your Support

CALI, COLOMBIA: The Colombian government moved on 26 March to dissolve EMSIRVA, a city-owned waste disposal company, using riot police and soldiers to evict the workers from their workplace. Meanwhile, at EMCALI, the municipal utilities company, two union executives and four fired workers have begun a hunger strike to protest a government-appointed trustee's decision to fire still more union members.

Given that Colombian union activists are regularly murdered for their union activity, these sisters and brother are literally risking their lives. Sixteen activists with Cali's public sector unions have been killed since 2004, including union executive Carlos Alberto Chicaiza Betancourt.

The unions are asking for email and letters to Colombia's president and cabinet ministers. The government needs to know the world is watching. In the past international attention has proven effective in protecting activists from assassination.

Send a protest email to president Alvaro Uribe Velez HERE. A copy will go to the workers and their union.

Please pass this along to ALL your contacts.

BREAKING NEWS: Since 4 April the Colombian police and army have been occupying the University of El Valle in Cali. Students, faculty, workers and unions at the university are camped out at the university in opposition to privatization efforts. More to come on this from CUPE. Be sure to join and check the Colombia Solidarity group at UnionBook for an action alert.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why It's Nice to Be CUPE - from

CUPE will pay disabled delegates' additional costs for convention

April 6, 2009 02:14 PM

CUPE's National Executive Board (NEB) has adopted a new policy to ensure that members with disabilities do not face barriers to participation at national convention or at national events.

At its March meeting the NEB passed a policy to pay 100 per cent of the additional costs directly related to necessary equipment, or to the assistance of a personal attendant, required by a delegate with a disability for the duration of the conference or convention.

All other costs related to delegates’ participation to the national convention or national event remain the responsibility of the chartered organization they are representing. Sensitive to the particular needs of CUPE members with disabilities, the National Executive Board has passed this policy to ensure that all members have equal access to participation regardless of their disability.

The standard form to submit for delegates with a disability will be included in the official call with your chartered organization’s credentials. This mail out will take place on July 7, 2009.

Please make sure the completed form outlining the needs of the member with a disability is returned with your chartered organization’s credential to CUPE National. And don’t be shy to spread the good news!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Text of My Vacation E-Postcards to Friends and Family

15 March 2009

Very fine time, we really lucked into a great apartment. The Duomo (cathedral) is right across the street from us. Great views, even from the toilet. Apartment itself just dandy.

We're splitting the cooking most, but not all nights with Anne and John. Makes for even more fun as shopping for food and cooking supplies becoming a big part of the week and a hell of a lots of fun, though waildly fattening. Losts of samples available at each stand or shop, plus the smells, plus the little restaurants around the market are fantastic.

City hasn't changed much, even some of the restaurants we loved 8 years ago are still going strong. Noticeably less turnover in syuch things here as opposed to home. And I could I recognized some regualrs from our last trip at a place we spent a lot of time at when last here.

With advanced reservations can now finally say have been through the Uffici. Wow, but the collection is more christian than the pope. Should have read up on the stories behind much of it as I think it would have made more sense, been more appreciated by me. Not worth asking Geri as all I get is a rant about the church, christianity and the bastards who run the joint. LOL

Time for another cappucino, look for another e=postcard at some point.

SA; please for to Helen as I of course forgot to place her address in my webmail addressbook.

18 March 2009:

Last day I'll bother to hit a cybercafe for a while, so...

The Great Dink Hunt that I began our last trip to Italy continues, with much success if I do say so myself. I even bagged a Grand Dink the other day, thanks to Anne who spotted it from 50m away.


Dink is a brand of scooter. Fascinates me to watch it. Not just for the adolescent giggle (though that's definitely there) but also as it's my barometer of globalization. As English becomes more predominent it should disappear as a brand name and when it does we will all know that global capitalism has peaked; there will be no more Dinks.


Speaking of capitalism, Geri made the pillgramage to the flagship Ferragamo shop. It's a bad year; she could find lots of beautiful shoes but none that were really comfortable. So she bought only one pair.

I shall be working an additional 27 calendars days...

Still, we got to intro Anne and John to the joint. Fun to see the looks on their faces.

My waistline is actually in decline despite the food and the wine. Much, much, much walking. Love this city. Can't imagine why the Italians think they can keep Italy to themselves, wish they would all just move away and leave all the good stuff behind (chefs and vineyard workers excepted of course).

Though I have yet to convince Geri to let me try the Florentine specialty; tripe. Wll have to sneak away for a while and grab some as can't while she is sitting next to me.

The search for a bad bottle of Italian wine continues. Or as my podcast language lessons would say; la cercare continuare. We are applying ourselves diligently to the cause, but as yet no luck. More later...

Geek note; guides for tour groups now have low-power transmitters and their charges receivers with ear buds. Makes for much quieter times at sights and in museums.

Also recommended; Rick Steves podded audio guides through the Uffici and the Accademia. Lots of detail on major pieces and such. And free. Unlike the provided guidie thingees.

The weather has been perfect. Into the low 20's as the highs now. Cool mornings. Perfect for walking, then a long slow lunch with a cold beer or wine, then more walking.

Apartment still has spectacular views of the building which I would place in a tie with the Taj Mahal for most beautiful I have seen.

Anne and John to Paris Friday, we to Levanto for a few days wandering the Cinque Terra, then on to whenever we decide upon (while deciding we will doubtless be engaged in the La Cercare).

Birthday was fab. Champers on the Piazza del Duomo. Then shopping at the market for dinner, then dinner and another of our taste-test evenings for the three who drink red (Geri looses out on this score with her allergies).

Yes, I feel wiser, if that can be believed, but no, not older. I shall just have to continue to compensate for age as best I can with inceasingly immature behaviours I expect.

'See' you here in a week or so...

23 March 2009

Did you hear the one about the Acrophobe (that's me) and the High Heeled Hussey?

I'm desperately afraid of heights and Geri's years at the cash at Dominion mean she needs fairly high heels to keep her spine straight.

Yesterday we did the second most demanding of the stages of the Cinque Terra hike. Because we had gotten to the start point the day before we skipped it yesterday am and went straight onto the trail. So we didn't see the notice that it was closed due to a landslide.

Some very nasty bits but we made it. Never so glad to have a beer in my life, and that means something coming from me. Scuttling over trees and dirt and boulders all 100m off the sea...only thing more scarey was going back the way we had come. At one point a couple of days ago we inched along a path over the sea and came upon a suspension bridge. Thought that would be the end of me. It was at least 100m long, and bouncy. So when you bounced up flying dinosaurs would bite off your head, when you bounced low the pirates would cut out your gizzard and feed it to the crocs 2km below.

Well, mebbe 20m long and no dinosaurs or pirates, but there could have been crocs down below.

OK, 10m long. But a very, very, very long 10m when you're afraid of heights. :-)

Geri (well, her shoes really) gots lots of second looks from the other morons on the trail who hadn't seen the notice.


The other folks on the trail all seem to be really intense hikers with their carbon fibre walking sticks and funny suits and $500 daypacks. Whom we seemed to pass alot. All that Y time is paying off? I was especially surprised by the number of kids who seemed to have trouble with the steep bits.

At the end of one stage was 400 steps up and then, just as you come over the top, a very nice seafood restaurant (they all are here) with very cold beer. We didn’t see it at first and so we walked all around the town looking for a place to sit in the sun and drink our beer. Finally up a few stairs around a few corners and there it was Voila!, we were there. and there we stayed. The sight over that last step as a flat bit came into view and as the smell of beer came wafting on the breeze...THAT dear friends and family, is what heaven should be like.

Not doing the fourth stage as it is the least scenic. Which, frankly, would be OK to do as far as I am concerned as 'scenic' seems to mean vertical views (read 'death scenes'). They are beautiful, I would have to look, would enjoy for 2 seconds and then the acro-anxiety would set in and I'd hyper ventilate and grab the wall. One night I had nothing but falling dreams and slept terribly.

[turns out that section was also closed to to slides]

But, for the views and the 1200 photos I took, I am glad we did this.

Speaking of views, the towns here are AMAZING little picture postcards, each of the five. Imagine Peggy's Cove translated into medieval Italy, then replace the bog at the back (a very nice bog it is too Brenda) with mountains. Amazingly pretty.

Even without the hiking great views and such. And there are train stations in each, a €10 pass gets you all kinds of access plus free trainfare between them and the towns outside and either end for 3 days.

The continued walking means I am now down almost 4kgs from when we left, assuming this hotel's scale about as accurate as the one at home. So I am almost as pretty as the Cinque Terra.

This part of the trip was Geri's idea, and a good one. Among other things this area is one of the few in Italy that takes white wine seriously, and after Tuscany (where they about spit when you mention it) she is having a fine time. No longer persecuted for being allergic to red.

Even the steepest hillsides here are covered with terraced strips of olive and lemon groves and vinyards.

Having great lunches, but no real dinners. Yesterday we had spectacular raw anchovies in a lemon and oil marinade. I could live on that. But on our way back to our hotel the first night we found a bar, nipped in for a drink and it turns out they pretty much feed us while we have a couple and read or plan the next few days. Most Italian bars do that, but this place does it so well we haven't any need for dinner after. We just flop and try to be nice to our feet, or sit on our terrace and do postcards.

Today just regular waking, packing for the train to Sorrento and then a bus to Positano. On the upside, the cliffs there can't be any higher than they are here, plus the exposure seems to be helping me a bit. Out the window just to my right is a 15m drop to a road that would normally bother me, provide a reasonably noticeable adrenaline charge. Nothing.

Pitons anyone? :-)

29 March 2009

Quite a lot to report, and only 20 minutes on my cafe card, this might be a two-parter. But fear not as this is also likely my last as we return home.

We had a mostly fine travel day to Positano, made all our connections straightforwardly, one was even on the same track, just a matter of standing around. The CircumVesuivus train was much fun, dunno why it seems to make people nervous. The US-based guides all are rather tense about it. Great graffitti. Naples like a bit like St. John/Hamilton/Port Alberni, only with better seafood.

But Vicki and Marjorie must be made to pay for the bus ride from Sorrento to Positano! Big time! It was a nightmare. Road is have in the cliff face and half out over it, the last 10km anywhere from 50 to 150m off the sea. Weaves back and forth and the driver outbound was clearly a cowboy, talking to passengers, trying to pick up Aussie travellers, even talking on his mobile and at one point sending a text while driving.

Geri didn't know to take her Gravol and so was quite ill from the weaving and sharp turns, my acrophobia came back big time after easing somewhat with exposure in the Cinque Terre.


We arrived, discovered too that the town is pretty much vertical, had a long walk down towing our luggage. Geri is now at the point where she thinks 1.5 suitcases and her weekend bag are still too much and is actually talking about further reducing it all next time. Positano did her in I think. That's how vertical it was.

After we got settled we went out for three very fast beers and dinner, and much hysterical talk about the bus ride out. Aside from my acrophobia, the driver really was a cowboy as we thought from the other, some regular, passengers' reactions. Plus on the way back it was a much better, if slower, ride.

Positano beautiful though, but awfully touristy. Way more than the Cinque Terre. And because it was off-season it was cheap and tourist-free mostly, but many things were closed and so the attraction of the place re. food and such was limited. There was really only one restaurant open for example. Frankly, while it was a pretty place, it wasn't a whole lot prettier than the Cinque Terre.

Warmer though, and we had a great cheap room in a backpacker pensione with a big terrace. which we used a lot to have lunch in and such, spent some time lying around on it reading once the town was explored. Great leg workout though.

Owner jolly and helpful. We'd go back just to lie around and tan, read.

Local food heavily seafood, all good, but again, Cinque Terre just-as and cheaper.

We heard several rumours of there being some bad wine in town while there and followed them up. Nothing. We continue to follow the trail, wherever it leads us.


One night I walked to dinner along the 'road' (stairway and walkway really) from our hotel after smoking a joint and was able to look down without trouble. Miracle cure for acrophobia???


Let's see, where was I???

Our impressions of the town and the ride out were confirmed by some women we met from Montreal. One way around it is to be a rich backpacker as we discovered when two young women from the US showed up at our pensione after getting out of the Mercedes limo that had driven them to Positano from Sorrento.

Limoed backpackers??? Why, when I was a kid... :-)

The other nice thing about the food was that wherever you went for dinner, and there weren't many choices open while we were there, it was always less than 50 horizontal metres home, but always 500+ steps vertically. ;-)

But I could tell within hours of arriving that it wouldn't be my favourite part of the trip: no or very few Dinks to be found in Positano. :-)

On the way home we booked a Positano Porter, a small truck and two large men to have out luggage deliver from the pensione to the bus stop. Whew!

We couldn't get out on the sea to get photos of the town and area as nothing along those lines is yet open. So mostly we chilled, tanned and dank wine and beer on our terrace. Sometimes even with clothes on.

The trip back was uneventful, though Geri's allergies were turning into bronchitis. Even lucked into a Eurostar for the return trip Napoli-Firenz, so it was a fast three hours rather than the roughly 7 it would have taken otherwise. On the Sorrento-Napoli train had a nice if odd chat with a Polish injured construction worker in Italian.

We're back here in Firenze for four full days of filling-in the blanks. Geri had a doctor drop by the hotel last night and some drugs to take, so perhaps tomorrow we'll start doing the few day trips out of town we want to do to one or two of the surrounding hill towns, then mebbe collapse for a day in a bar with a terrace on some rooftop with a good book or two, in anticipation of podding our way home again (almost looking forward to it, and have been on more than one long trip where one of those first class pod seats would have been the highlight of the whole trip). :-)

General observation: much public eco-propaganda, plus things like (for those few still using disposeables I hope) battery recycling boxes at spots where tourists would likely be taking lots of photos, lots of solar systems (acive and passive) on private homes' roofs and office buildings.

One regret: I didn't start my Italian lessons early enough and am now much better, but only just in time to leave.

Unanticipated upside: Geri getting many gardening ideas. Comes as compensation for the allergic reactions to so early a spring (for us anyway).

My scarf (b-day present from Anne and John) makes me look so Italian all kinds of people ask me for directions whilst I am wearing it.

Had best food experiment: typical Florentine tripe (trippa) for dinner last night. Shredded cow stomach in tomato sauce. Yum. Really.

Best bar: our local in Levanto, definitely. Friendly staff and regulars, great free food to go with the drinks. And it didn't hurt that the white was DOC Cinque Terre and quite good, the beer always Italian and cold. And it was on the edge of the Cinque Terre, my favourite part of the trip. If you're ever going, we'd also recommend our hotel there.

Best internet cafe: Cafe Ricasoli. Have a cappuccino and croissant with your e-mail. And they treat repeat customers like old friends.

Best cappucino: no such thing. All great. Ditto the expresso. Even in train stations etc.

Best red: Any DOC Montalcino. The poor person's Brunello, normally from the same vineyards too.

Best whites: the DOC Cinque Terres we tried. But this ain't Austria. Guess we'll have to flop in Vienna again sometime soon so Geri can have a whites vacation as this was definitely a reds month.

1 April 2009

We're doing our family gift shopping this morning and then packing this afternoon. So this really is the last.

Two day trips by regional buses to report. An hour of fun on the bus got us to Siena the day before last. Nice, but very upscale, non-gritty compared with Firenze. The spot to shop if you're prepared to spend lots.

Fab lunch though. Little family spot with 9 tables. Father does the menu from memory, rest of the family cooks and serves. Great pasta, best pigeon I've ever eaten. Best part: with the exception of the beak they left the head on, the way small birds are supposed to be cooked. Yummy. Cook saw me attacking with a knife and fork and popped out to tell me to use my fingers. Trattoria del Torro if you're ever in the neighbourhood, bizarrely just off one of the streets leading into the Piazza del Campo.

San Gimagnano yesterday. Rain aside, didn't really hugely enjoy as is way,way touristy. But we did get of the local white, which is very fine and pretty much the only DOC white from Tuscany I think. I'm glad we didn't book a room there to stay for a few days as it's just wall-to-wall clip joints. Though with very pretty facades and such.

I did buy a pair of Italian classic loafers there though; at Geri's insistence of course. :-)

Last night we had our fancy and expensive dinner of the trip. Food OK. Hideously expensive though. Must have been the cover for being able to watch the cooking on a video monitor. :-)

Off to the market for some oil and other food makings, perhaps a bottle or two, then an afternoon packing before we retire to a local bar to debrief. And to talk about the next trip. Southern France with a side of Barcelona is up there, but so is the Croatian etc coast down to Istanbul. And then there's that free hotel room in Buenos if Geri doesn't get some heavily oaked white into her soon we may have to find a way to get to Australia soon.

Up at 4 tomorrow to make our flight to Frankfurt, then into our pods and home.

Geri's youngest is opening a used bookshop in Toronto on Saturday, so perhaps back into Toronto on Friday, for sure on Saturday.

Guess that's all the news that was...sigh. Back to the world. But at least we're returning via pods. What a difference exec class makes. I'm actually not only not dreading the flight, I'm kinda looking forward to climbing into my pod, ordering up some plonk and watching a couple of new release films b

Saturday, April 4, 2009

$13USD Podcasting Gizmo

The biggest obstacle to a torrent of citizen journalism in podcast form is gathering content. A good podcast needs a lot of volunteers out there collecting material and sending it on to the editing/production team.

The available pools of volunteers for progressive podcasts are usually enthused about an issue and involved for that reason. Not because they are all geeked-out over the technical aspects of production and such.

With a little coaching anyone can learn to do a reasonable interview and it doesn't take much experience to record a rally or a speech or a talk. So the barriers to greater participation are almost always tech and/or financial.

The threshold on both has been high. Getting lower, but not fast enough.

This little gizmo is one of several now available that allows anyone with a recent release iPod to get out there and start recording. Making anyone with an iPod in a potential citizen journalist.

By 'anyone with an iPod' I mean everyone in my family from the grandkids on up the age ladder, plus everyone at my local Y, plus everyone I work with, plus everyone on every flight I take or bus I ride on, plus...

There are some reviews out on the Thumbtack mic already. I first heard about it from some Italian comrades at CGIL who were very enthused, but have yet to receive mine. But soon, very soon.

Some Would Say an April Fool's Day Item, But...

I missed all the April Fool's Day silliness as it doesn't seem to be celebrated in Italy. So pardon me while I play catch-up for a bit.

This is perhaps not a joke given what's happening to the newspaper industry globally, and given the Guardian's history of moving fast on new technologies (comes from being a worker-owned co-op I exspect).

And I must say I know one or ten Twitter addicts who probably even now still think this ain't a joke:

Friday, April 3, 2009

CUPE Joins the Union Website Contests Circuit

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is running a contest similar to LabourStart's annual event. CUPE local websites are eligible and, as with the global Labour Website of the Year contest, the winners are determined by popular vote.

A nice idea and a great way to boost traffic to local union websites because, unlike judged awards, this one encourages local union webstewards to organize their members to get online and vote.

En francais:

Canadian Union Blog Aggregator Up and Running!

David Empey (UWOSA President) has just launched a really useful site for Canadian trade unionists looking for current shop floor news and opinion.

Here you can see, collected in one place, daily summaries of postings on union or union-related blogs across Canada. The site is just recently up but already features regular postings from several union bloggers, including Larry Hubich, President of the SFL.

Drop by for a read or to suggest a blog for inclusion.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

2009 Labour Website(s) of the Year

As decided by LabourStart readers.

And the latest winner is:

United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America

And the runners up were:

Union Song

Our Times (where my vote went)


New Unionism Network

All worth a visit to see just why these are the top-ranked labour websites.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

UnionBook Frolics

UnionBook continues to pick up steam. Not only are the reviews uniformly good, but the numbers are steadily growing. We'll likely see 2,000 by next week.

A few groups, like the one created for members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, are really booming. Ditto the Labour Films and Podcasting groups.

I have two favourites. The Pin/Badge Traders group is a reasonable size, but more importantly has already netted me a pile o'pins. Comrades in Australia and the UK have mailed me some and I had the pleasure of getting an American sister off to a flying start with a trader's starter kit.

Doing not nearly so well is a group I started, the Union Builders of Model Airplanes group. Two members, myself and an old friend and co-worker there with me out of pity I think.

Still, while I post mostly conversations with myself, there are some fine photos of recent projects available in the group's forum. And I must say the conversation is positively brilliant. :-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And Now CAW Does UB Too{D1B89CAB-9B8A-4423-ADD7-DDE8199F7641}

Monday, February 9, 2009

Yet More UB Buzz

This time it's the AFL-CIO:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Union Geeks

Despite the spelling, a blog aggregator based in the UK and run by the redoubtable John Wood. Collects postings from union geeks worldwide.

Another Review of UnionBook

This time from an odd (for UB and LabourStart anyway) source:

Saturday, January 31, 2009

UnionBook Goes Public

From LabourStart:

LabourStart is pleased to announce the launch today of UnionBook - the social networking website for trade unionists.

Unlike other social networking sites, UnionBook ( is advertising-free, respects your privacy, and is specifically designed to serve trade unionists.

UnionBook offers many features that you and your union will find useful. Among these are:

* Blogs - build your own blog today. Free, with no ads.

* Groups - create a group to support your union and your campaigns. Groups can have discussion forums and shared documents. They can be public or closed. They're a very powerful tool.

* Post your profile and sign up your friends.

And we're adding more features all the time.

We know that UnionBook will never be as big as the giant commercial networks like Facebook, but once we have several thousand trade unionists using it, I'm confident that it will become a powerful tool for our movement worldwide.

We're not telling anyone to stop using other social networks. If you are active in Facebook or any of the others, that's fine. But use UnionBook for your trade union activities and see how easy it is to build and form groups, and to publish content online.

Once you've signed up, you will receive an email from us - you must respond to this in order to confirm your email address and activate your account. Our email message may wind up in your junk mail folder - please keep an eye out for it.

Please spend some time on and explore the possibilities.

And then spread the word -- because together, we can create something amazing here.

Thanks - Eric Lee

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How Canada Post Censored Union Vids on YouTube

Yet more evidence of why the Labour Movement needs to be making better use of its own online resources rather than relying on commercial sites:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tell the City of Ottawa to Return to the Table

ATU 279 has been on strike for 50 days against concessions demanded by the City of Ottawa. ATU members have already rejected those concessions in a vote conducted by the Ministry of Labour. Their bargaining committee has offered to refer those demands to mediation and arbitration, but the City has refused.

Canadian cities don't often engage in blatent union-busting, but this looks like one of those times. ATU and the Ottawa Labour Council are asking you to take 30 seconds (no more or your money back!) and send a message to Ottawa's Mayor and Council asking them to return to the table.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2009 Labour Website of the Year Contest

Voting is open. Simply go to the page below, vote your fave (after checking them out of course):

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life!

Heard about the global campaign for atheist bus adverts to counter advertising by organized religions?

"There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" is appearing on buses across Europe, Australia and now Toronto.

Personally I'd rather Cobourg than Toronto, but perhaps it's best to start small and work up.

To contribute money towards the Toronto campaign go to:

You can also use the site the suggest that the campaign be extended to include Cobourg...or your own home town for that matter.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Naomi Klein on the BDS Campaign

The sanest, plainest case for the BDS campaign I have seen. Read it here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

UnionBook is Here!

It won't replace Facebook for keeping in touch with the grandkids (nor is it intended to), but UnionBook is LabourStart's social networking site for the union-friendly worldwide.

Give it a spin.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

They Do It Too

I think we're sometimes surprised when an employer or some other anti-union type uses the not-so-new-anymore media to organize against us. Something about still being stuck with the idea of the internet as an insurgent medium I think; somehow more ours than theirs.

Silly. A good way to get caught with our pants down.

This week CBC and SRC are reporting on OCTranspo's use of YouTube in trying to get their final offer through a forced vote.

Meanwhile, back at the York U. strike, anti-union students are doing all kinds of interesting, if wrong-headed, things with Facebook, blogs and such.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

UK Stop The War is in Facebook's Bad Book

The following was sent to folks on the Stop The War listserve in the UK:

Dear friends,

Facebook today deleted an event set up by the Stop the War Coalition publicising the 2nd national demonstration against Israel's attacks on Gaza, with no explanation. Around 20,000 people had been sent invites to this event.

Stop the War urges all supporters to do everything they can to build for this weekends demonstration, including inviting your contacts to this event again to ensure the biggest turn out on Saturday.

In solidarity,

Stop the War Coalition