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Union Supporters Mark Third Annual Labor Day Rally In Escondido

— A coalition of unions and Democratic groups held their third annual Labor Day rally in Escondido today.

Aired 9/3/13 on KPBS News.

For the third year in a row, a coalition of union supporters and Democratic groups celebrated Labor Day with a rally in Escondido.

Spectators at the third annual Labor Day rally in Escondido, Sept. 2, 2013.

Speakers saluted American workers and praised unions for advocating higher wages and health benefits.

San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez is supporting a measure to raise the minimum wage in California to $9.10 an hour.

Gonzalez said it’s desperately needed.

“There is no way somebody can actually live and pay rent, put food on the table, without government assistance, even with a minimum wage job that they’re able to work 40 to 60 hours," the former labor leader said. "They still are not able to make ends meet.”

Escondido Deputy Mayor Olga Diaz said organized labor is much more than a concept. She said it’s made up of real people.

“They’re your neighbors. They’re the people that maintain your parks, that fill your potholes, that come when you call 911," Diaz explained. "I mean, these are just the average American worker doing their part to sustain our community.”

The nation’s first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City.

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