ProPublica's Michael Grabell is the recipient of this month's Sidney Award for his deep dive investigation, "The Expendables: How the Temps Who Power Corporate Giants Are Getting Crushed." This is ProPublica's first time winning the esteemed prize, which recognizes outstanding journalism that fosters social and economic justice.
His report specifically highlighted how corporations like Walmart, Nike and Frito-Lay are hiring more temp workers than ever before -- there are more than 2.7 million temp workers in the U.S. alone -- to cut costs while insulating themselves from employer responsibilities. Grabell found that these blue-collar "permatemps" typically earn 25 percent less than their full-time counterparts, often without any benefits, and they are more likely to be injured at work.
"Grabell shows that the tempification of America was no accident," Sidney judge Lindsay Beyerstein said. "His reporting demonstrates that the shift from perm to temp was a systematic bid to undermine the employer-employee relationship and shift the balance of power in favor of the employer."
The Sidney has been distributed by the Sidney Hillman Foundation since 2009. You can read more about the foundation and its awards here.