AFL-CIO Celebrates Workers This Labor Day

Jamie Franks' parents both worked in a factory in Northeast Mississippi as he grew up, so he was an instant favorite with the union members and workers in attendance.

"I'm proud to come from a labor family. It's made a difference in my life, and we need to make a difference with labor in the state of Mississippi," Franks said.

But it was his harsh words against Governor Barbour and Republicans that really won them over.

"They have refused to allow working families to be represented for the past four years, and we need to put them out to pasture come November the sixth."

All the Democratic candidates for state wide office were on hand. Gary Anderson is running for Insurance Commissioner. Sky rocketing insurance rates have workers worried.

"My whole campaign is based on making sure that Mississippians get a fair deal in the office of insurance," Anderson said.

Anderson said Mississippi has the third highest rates in property and casualty insurance, as well as health insurance, in the nation.

"For so many Mississippians, their insurance is a trip to the emergency room because they can't afford health care."

Several candidates thanked workers for doing what they do every day. Secretary of State candidate Rob Smith said without them, there would be no Mississippi.

"You got fire fighters standing right over there, I've got police officers right over there, I've got industrial workers, I've got chicken growers. People like that, that's still your backbone of the workforce of Mississippi," Smith said.

Many of the workers in attendance also cited Education as an issue important to them. They said a better educational system in Mississippi would entice more companies to create jobs in our state.

by Jon Kalahar