Anti Iraq War
At the Connecticut AFL-CIO convention June 23, 2008, state AFL-CIO President John Olsen, calling on everyone to go out and organize. “We got the House and Senate back in 2006 and now we have to get the presidency back so we can win the Employee Free Choice Act, universal health care and an energy policy like the Apollo plan.”
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd was warmly welcomed by the delegates. Decrying the disparities in America, he lauded the labor movement for hard fought battles for workers’ gains “not given benevolently by corporate America,” and passionately called for an all-out push to elect Barack Obama on Nov. 4.
Saying he hopes the Employee Free Choice Act will be the first bill on the new president’s desk, Dodd emphasized that “this election will determine what kind of country, what kind of world, we leave to our children and grandchildren … We can’t afford four more years of Bush.”
The convention unanimously adopted a resolution reaffirming opposition to the war by national and state labor bodies, and asserting that Obama “shares labor’s opposition … while John McCain supports the war and President Bush’s military policy.”
The resolution urges unions to inform their members “of McCain’s pro-war position and how it is directly related to his anti-union economic policies; and how the continuation of the war is fueling the current economic crisis.”
Bill Shortell, representing the Machinists Union and the Bristol Labor Council, recalled asking, when the war began, “Is this an issue for us?” to which his buddy replied, “Who’s going to speak for me if the union doesn’t speak for me?” Shortell called on the delegates to “take a strong position and back candidates committed to get us out of Iraq and end this bloodshed as soon as possible.”
In 2018 Bill Shortell was a member of Democratic Socialists of America.