On November 17, the Service Employees Industrial Union (SEIU) announced that it would be holding an advisory ballot of members in California to determine the future of the United Healthcare Workers–West (UHW-W), which with 150,000 members is the SEIU’s third largest local.

The current global economic crisis has all the earmarks of an epoch-defining event. Mainstream economists now openly employ phrases like “systemic meltdown” and “peering into the abyss”.

Having captured the imagination of progressives across the globe with scenes of indigenous uprisings confronting right-wing governments and multinationals, Bolivia has become a key focus point of discussion within the left regarding strategies for change.

The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), formed only in 1996, shocked Malaysia’s political establishment by winning two seats in the March 8 general elections. Nasir Hashim was elected to the Selangor state legislative assembly and Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj was elected to the national parliament.

At first glance it seems like just about everyone is pleased with the federal government’s car industry bailout. The car industry bosses are delighted. The car industry unions are happy.

Green Left Weekly’s Simon Cunich spoke to Peter Kennedy, a coalminer and anti-coal activist and Graham Brown, who worked with Kennedy until retiring from mining last year. Both men were at a November 22 protest outside Eraring coal-fired power station, on the NSW Central Coast. Brown’s comments were recorded in September.

For all the misery it represents for ordinary people, there is at least one positive result of the current capitalist financial crisis. The idea of nationalisation is getting an airing again in the West, however squeamish capitalist leaders and pundits may be about using the actual word.

“Work Choices is tantalisingly close to being gone forever”, Labor’s workplace minister Julia Gillard said as she introduced the Fair Work Bill (FWB) on November 25.


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