Union members packed Fifth Avenue for the 2023 New York City Labor Day Parade Saturday, intending to send a message.

“This is a hot union summer — it’s still summer, but it’s going to be a hot union fall,” said Lowell Peterson, the executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East.

What You Need To Know

  • The annual Labor Day Parade kicked off in Manhattan Saturday morning
  • Union members, including writers and actors who are on strike, marched to show their solidarity
  • Members were joined by elected officials along the parade route

Marchers included striking members of the Writers Guild of America, who have been on the picket line since May.

“I think what we’re fighting for resonates with working people across the city,” Peterson said. “We’re fighting these giant multinational corporations that are trying to use technology to undermine our careers. What could be more basic to the labor movement than that battle?”

The Writers Guild of America was joined on strike by the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists in July, who provided a strong turnout on Saturday’s parade route.

“A silver lining of the troubles that we’re facing is the amount of love that we’re feeling for each other, the amount of support we’re feeling for each other,” said Linda Powell, the vice president of the New York chapter of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, said.

Union nurses were also marching Saturday, with members of the New York State Nurses Association celebrating a victory this summer in their fight for pay parity for city nurses.

“It’s historical. We were able to obtain a $16,000 raise straight across the board for every nurse in NYC Health + Hospitals and the mayoral system,” said Patricia Tyrrell, a member of the New York State Nurses Association.

Elected officials also joined marchers in Manhattan to celebrate the labor movement. But for workers, it was a day to show their own power.

“The solidarity is strong, broad and deep,” Peterson said.