‘Hot labor summer’: Actors, union leaders rally in downtown Chicago as SAG-AFTRA strike continues

SAG-AFTRA has been on strike since July 13, when leaders voted to join screenwriters in the Writers Guild of America in the first joint strike in over six decades.

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Several hundred actors, union members and their supporters rallied in Grant Park on Tuesday in support of the joint screenwriters and actors strike that’s now in its second month.

Local members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists chanted “Hot labor summer!” and “Labor united cannot be defeated!” near Buckingham Fountain and listened to speeches from local union leaders. The crowd also heard supportive speeches from politicians U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Illinois state Sen. Lakesia Collins and Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33rd).

“This is a labor revolution,” SAG-AFTRA Chicago local president Charles Gardner said during the rally. “And those aren’t just my words — the media is catching it, and they’re calling it a labor revolution. How powerful is that?”

SAG-AFTRA has been on strike since July 13, when leaders voted to join screenwriters in the the Writers Guild of America in the first joint strike in over six decades.

Talks are ongoing between the WGA and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, but a deal has yet to be reached.

Actors are pushing the AMPTP for better wages, revenue sharing and protections from artificial intelligence being used to replace them, according to a press release from the Chicago Federation of Labor.

“We have to continue to fight for the things that we want, for the things that we deem to be fair and just,” SAG-AFTRA member Anthony Fleming III, who plays JP Gibbs “Power Book IV: Force” on Starz, told the crowd. “We are fighting for integrity, for our respect and to be honored for our vast and immensely important contributions in our professions.”

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

SAG-AFTRA member and actor Anthony Fleming III speaks during a rally Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

SAG-AFTRA member and actor Anthony Fleming III speaks during a rally Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters march around Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park on Tuesday.

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters march around Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park on Tuesday.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

SAG-AFTRA Chicago local president Charles Gardner speaks during a rally Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

SAG-AFTRA Chicago local president Charles Gardner speaks during a rally Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

A protester dresses like a robot as hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters rally Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

A protester dresses like a robot as hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters rally Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

SAG-AFTRA member and actor Ta’Rhonda Jones speaks during a rally Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

SAG-AFTRA member and actor Ta’Rhonda Jones speaks during a rally Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Hundreds of striking SAG-AFTRA members and their supporters protest Tuesday near Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The Latest
The airline said Thursday that it has been studying seating options and is making the changes because passenger preferences have shifted.
The California company will anchor the new quantum computing campus at the old U.S. Steel South Works site to build the country’s first utility-scale quantum computer, Mayor Brandon Johnson’s office said.
The ceremony starts at 12:30 p.m. Chicago time and is expected to last more than three hours. It will air on NBC-5 and stream on Peacock.
Preliminary information indicates a stray bullet shot from outside entered the home in the 1500 block of Cherokee Drive and struck the girl, according to the Lake County Major Crime Task Force.