NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A Labor Day downpour didn’t stop the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO from hosting its annual Labor Day picnic at City Park.

Among those in attendance were those hoping to be elected governor of Louisiana in the fall.

Democratic candidate Shawn Wilson says the barbecue is a sign of gratitude.

“When you think about all of the hardworking men and women who drive economies, that build roads, build bridges, build buildings, just everything that we do, land pipelines, doing electrical work, all of that’s important to our economy,” Wilson said. “And this is a reason to celebrate their success.”

Gubernatorial candidate Hunter Lundy, an independent, says collaborating with local workers’ unions is key.

“There’s been an effort to mash down on our working class, and if we’re going to fix the poverty of Louisiana, it takes a joint effort from our trades, and our working class, and our nonprofits and our privately owned businesses to do it,” Lundy said. “We’re going to work together.”

Amid ongoing workers’ strikes, Wilson says it’s going to take consensus and compromise to find common ground.

“The workers are a big part of what economies and businesses are built on. Just like the businesses need to be successful, so do our people,” Wilson said. “They want to be safe. They want to be well compensated. They want to have benefits. That’s what this is all about, and that’s what I’ve been talking to our individuals about.”

Lundy wants to start with a conversation.

“I can sit and talk to both sides and say, ‘What can we do to resolve this problem?’ Because we don’t want to stop productivity if we can help it,” Lundy said. “People have to be treated fairly, and they can’t be thrown by the wayside. They have to be compensated fairly.”

Republican candidate Jeff Landry was not in attendance.

For more information about the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO and ways to get involved, visit the website.

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