Worker Safety an Enduring Commitment of Our Union and Closest Allies

Workplace safety and health are intrinsically linked to our union’s legislative and electoral efforts.

Those we elect in local, state and federal government can be strong allies or significant burdens in our efforts to improve workers’ ability to return home safely each day.

Among those who have been our steadfast allies is Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who for decades has worn a pin depicting a yellow canary in a birdcage. It was given to him by a Lorain Steelworker at a Workers’ Memorial Day event.

In a recent email to supporters, Senator Brown said:

“In the early days of the 20th century, coal miners would bring canaries deep into the mines to warn them of poisonous gasses. Back then, workers didn't have a union strong enough or a government that cared enough to protect them.

Together, we changed that. We passed worker safety laws and overtime pay. We banned child labor. We passed clean air and safe drinking water laws. We enacted Social Security and Medicare, and workers’ rights and women’s rights and civil rights.

I wear my canary pin as a symbol of all the progress we've made and as a reminder that our fight for the Dignity of Work – all work – is far from over.”

Senator Brown’s lapel pin and our annual Workers’ Memorial Day remembrance are examples of the actions workers can take to educate the public of the vital role of unions in the continued fight to improve safety and health standards in all workplaces. 

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222