Workers from West Virginia and Ohio urged voters at a Mason County rally this weekend to forget about political talk such as "gods, guns and gays," and focus on jobs when voting this fall.

Labor speakers warned that America's major problems are being buried by a barrage of passionate issues, saying the country is dying in the red ink of trade deficits.

"TV news has Coby Bryant, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart and Scott Peterson as the big stories every day - when we're dyin' here."

The manufacturing sector has lost three million jobs in the past three years. Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia lost about 300,000, or about 8,000 a month, permanently.

Now, major corporations are "outsourcing" white collar work to China and India.

The labor rally drew several hundred workers at the Mason County courthouse, sparked by the loss of jobs at M & G Polymer, which once provided 700 jobs in the community.

Some of the 300 attendants held signs saying "Land of the Unemployed. Home of the Hungry,"decrying the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.

Saving some of the millions of U.S. jobs that are going abroad is primed to become "the next great civil rights issue," said Charles Kernaghan, executive director of the National Labor Committee in Support of Human and Workers Rights in New York.

"What you've started here today is work to take back our economy, take back our country and take back our jobs," said Kernaghan, who is best known for his exposure of sweatshop labor abroad in Kathie Lee Gifford's clothing line.

"Here's a 6-year-old with a toothbrush putting toxic glue on a Keds shoe," Kernaghan said of one photo he showed the rally. "This is the global economy."

"Over the next 10 years, seven of the 10 job categories that are going to grow the most provide $18,000 a year and no benefits. You're working as a janitor or a cashier. You're working for Wal-Mart," he said.

American manufacturers can't compete with overseas companies, most notably in China, where workers earn lower wages and aren't allowed to organize, Gilkey said. He urged those at the rally to tell elected representatives to get the United States out of the World Trade Organization.

Gilkey said Washington says such protest will spark an international trade war and we can't go back on our agreements. "I say let it happen, while we still have the manufacturing to get through it."

Meanwhile, the fate of M&G Polymer workers is unknown.