Voting began last week for this annual competition, which began in 1997, and which allows trade unionists around the world to vote for their favourite union websites. The Labour Website of the Year, sponsored by LabourStart is the only global competition open to all trade union websites and aims to encourage excellence in website design in the international trade union movement.
Last year, the winning site belonged to Canada's largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), an excellent site based on open source software tools. It competed with 467 other sites to win the competition. Over 5,500 trade unionists participated in the voting. As recently as four years ago, only 300 votes were cast, and in 1997, when the competition began, you could comfortably fit all the voters into a London taxi. These numbers give a sense of the tremendous expansion of trade union use of the net in the last few years. There's an official list of nominated sites (which now includes some 60 sites) but any union website can enter the competition and "write-in" votes are allowed."