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Crowds enjoy annual Wilmington Labor Day rally

September 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Labor Day honors the hard-working men and women of America. Monday a long-running solidarity march took over the streets of Wilmington.

Both union members and labor leaders say in this presidential election year, members have a large role to play in the outcome.

It was a day of union solidarity Monday as thousands of people marched down the streets of Wilmington for better wages and pensions.

It was the 33rd Annual Labor Solidarity March, Rally and BBQ. It ended at Banning Park with a picnic and celebration. It was one of the largest turnouts they've ever had.

In this election year, politics are very much on display at this rally. Unions have seen a drop in membership over the last few years but they are still a political force, especially in California. Union leaders say now more than ever it's time to get their message out.

"What we strive to do is not only get those who are already members of a union, but everybody else needs to get to the polls, because when we don't go the polls, that's a problem with democracy in this country," said Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary and treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Some people at the event said they have issues with both parties. They say while the political fight rages on, a lot of people are suffering.

"Everybody's disillusioned with something that's going on with the economy and our body politic, but as in 2008, when there was a record turnout by young people, by people that had not participated in the political process before, I suspect you're going to see the same kind of groundswell this time because people are angry about a good many things," said Gerry Daley, a California Nursing Association labor representative.

"The corporations and the unions need to work together," said Carson Mayor Jim Dear. "The corporations should not be spending their time, energy and strategies on trying to crush the workers. It doesn't make sense in America."

With the presidential election only two months away, people are getting ready mobilize. They say turnout will be the key since a number of the propositions might be decided by a small margin of votes.


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