News Release

* AFL-CIO Resolution Critical of War * Iraqi Labor Leaders in Chicago


In a major change of course, the AFL-CIO yesterday passed a resolution calling for U.S. troops to be brought home “rapidly.”

The following U.S. and Iraqi labor leaders are in Chicago for the AFL-CIO convention and are available for interviews:

Bruskin is co-convenor of U.S. Labor Against the War, which has worked on numerous resolutions critical of the war at the state level. He said today: “The action taken by this convention puts the AFL-CIO on record for a rapid end to the Iraq occupation — a stand squarely in the mainstream of American public opinion. Polls taken in late June show more than half of the American people feel the war was a mistake and similarly that it has made the U.S. less, not more safe. A majority of Americans also say the administration ‘intentionally misled’ the public in going to war. In the 50-year history of the AFL-CIO there has never been such a stand against such a fundamental aspect of U.S. foreign policy.” Bruskin has worked closely with various Iraqi labor leaders, including the two listed below.
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Wohlforth is secretary-treasurer of the Office and Professional Employees International Union and is also a co-convenor of U.S. Labor Against the War.

The following Iraqi union leaders are also currently in Chicago for the AFL-CIO convention and are available through Gene Bruskin until Thursday:

Mahmoud is the international representative of the Federation of Workers’ Councils and Union in Iraq and the U.K. head of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq. She said today: “The war is hurting U.S. and Iraqi workers. … The majority of Iraqis are women and have a great history of struggle. When I was in Iraq recently, for the first time, I could not walk the streets without a bodyguard. The ramifications from the invasion and occupation of Iraq have set back the rights of women dramatically.”
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Muhsin is the international representative of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions, which had close ties to the Iyad Allawi-led interim government. He said of the AFL-CIO resolution: “The move is a step in the right direction, but much work remains to secure the rights of Iraq’s workers. Labor leaders are being targeted for assassination and workers’ rights still are being denied under a 1987 decree issued by Saddam Hussein, which neither Paul Bremer nor the Iraqi interim government has lifted.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167