Democrats swapped breakfast items for barbecue Monday as they rang in Labor Day with a rally in Boston built on party priorities and punctuated by remarks from the candidates in the competitive and unpredictable race for mayor of Boston.

Organized labor officials hosted a rally and BBQ at Copley Place "to support frontline workers and to build back better with unions," according to the AFL-CIO labor organization, which helped put the event on.

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey; U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark, Ayanna Pressley and Jake Auchincloss; Attorney General Maura Healey; Secretary of State Bill Galvin; Boston Mayor Kim Janey; and Janey's fellow Boston mayoral candidates John Barros, Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu were among who attended the event put on with the Greater Boston Labor Council.

The mayoral candidates took turns speaking -- just over a week before the race's crucial primary election -- followed by the national politicians.

"We need laws in Congress that level the playing field," Warren said, discussing the proposed Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021.

"Policy is my love language and you deserve policies that uplift you, that support you, that protect you," Pressley said.

The 11 a.m. rally was a masked event, followed by a barbque.

The rally focused on workplace equity, opportunity and safety, as well as the ways unions can help in the recovery if the government directs federal COVID recovery funds to sectors like housing and public transit.

Copley Place has been the site of several union rallies in recent years, most recently after dozens of workers at the Marriott Copley Place hotel were laid off amid the coronavirus pandemic.


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