WILMINGTON (CBSLA.com) — A huge crowd gathered for the 35th annual Labor Day Parade in Wilmington Monday.

Thousands of union members and their families and friends marched to Banning Park, 1331 Eubank Avenue, where a rally and barbecue was held at noon.

The event featured speakers, music and food.

Many came for the festivities and fun but organizers said there was a serious message behind the get-together, whose theme was “Stop the War on Workers.”

“The working people are in a much worse place today than we have been in decades,” Los Angeles County labor movement official Maria Elena Durazo said. “So the level of poverty is deeper. The number of people in the middle class is much, much smaller.”

But with declining membership and strong opposition to new labor laws, union leaders said they’re picking their battles carefully. They’re currently focusing on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“I think the minimum wage most definitely needs to be raised and I think that corporations need to take a vested interest in the health of their workers and their families,” ILWU Local 13 member Bobby Olvera, Jr. said.

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