Michael Grabell

Reporter

Photo of Michael Grabell

Michael Grabell writes about economic issues, labor, immigration and trade. He has reported on the ground from more than 30 states, as well as some of the remotest villages in Alaska and Guatemala. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic and the New York Times and on Vice and NPR. In 2019, he was part of a team that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the Peabody and George Polk awards for their coverage of family separation and abuse in immigrant children’s shelters. He previously won the Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism for his investigation into the dismantling of workers’ compensation and an ASNE award for reporting on diversity for his series on the growth of temp work in the economy.

After Hundreds of Meatpacking Workers Died From COVID-19, Congress Wants Answers

A key House subcommittee cited reports by ProPublica and other news outlets in launching an investigation into how the country’s meatpacking companies handled the pandemic, which has killed hundreds of workers to date.

How the History of Waterloo, Iowa, Explains How Meatpacking Plants Became Hotbeds of COVID-19

Waterloo was the site of a historic battle for labor rights and racial justice. But as the meatpacking industry changed, the workforce lost its power and was primed for an outbreak. This is how we got here.

As COVID-19 Ravaged This Iowa City, Officials Discovered Meatpacking Executives Were the Ones in Charge

Meatpacking was once a path to the middle class in Waterloo, where workers led the fight for civil rights. But by the time the pandemic hit, a transformed industry had assembled a workforce from the most vulnerable parts of the world. The stage had been set.

Correos electrónicos muestran que la industria empacadora de carnes redactó el borrador de una orden ejecutiva para que las plantas permanecieran abiertas

Cientos de correos electrónicos ofrecen un vistazo excepcional del acceso que tiene la industria de la carne a los más altos niveles del gobierno, así como de la influencia que esta industria ejerce sobre ellos. El borrador fue presentado una semana antes de que se dictara la orden ejecutiva de Trump, la cual incluyó semejanzas notables.

Emails Show the Meatpacking Industry Drafted an Executive Order to Keep Plants Open

Hundreds of emails offer a rare look at the meat industry’s influence and access to the highest levels of government. The draft was submitted a week before Trump’s executive order, which bore striking similarities.

Las empresas empacadoras de carne ignoraron las advertencias durante años, pero ahora dicen que nadie habría podido prepararse para COVID-19

En documentos que se remontan hasta 2006, funcionarios gubernamentales pronosticaron que una pandemia pondría en peligro a las empresas imprescindibles y les advirtieron que se prepararan. Las empresas empacadoras de carne los ignoraron en gran medida, y ahora casi todos esos pronósticos se han vuelto realidad.

Meatpacking Companies Dismissed Years of Warnings but Now Say Nobody Could Have Prepared for COVID-19

In documents dating to 2006, government officials predicted that a pandemic would threaten critical businesses and warned them to prepare. Meatpacking companies largely ignored them, and now nearly every one of the predictions has come true.

They Warned OSHA They Were in “Imminent Danger” at the Meat Plant. Now They’re Suing the Agency.

The suit by workers at Maid-Rite Speciality Foods in Pennsylvania employs a rarely used legal tool and is the latest in a growing chorus of complaints about how the federal agency charged with protecting workers has responded to COVID-19.

Emails Reveal Chaos as Meatpacking Companies Fought Health Agencies Over COVID-19 Outbreaks in Their Plants

Thousands of pages of documents obtained by ProPublica show how quickly public health agencies were overwhelmed by meatpacking cases. One CEO described social distancing as “a nicety that makes sense only for people with laptops.”

What Happened When Health Officials Wanted to Close a Meatpacking Plant, but the Governor Said No

New documents obtained by ProPublica show public health officials in Grand Island, Nebraska, wanted the JBS meatpacking plant closed. But Gov. Pete Ricketts said no. Since then, cases have skyrocketed.

Millions of Essential Workers Are Being Left Out of COVID-19 Workplace Safety Protections, Thanks to OSHA

Even as the federal worker-safety agency has been inundated with complaints, it has rolled back safety standards and virtually eliminated non-health care workplaces from government protection.

¿Qué sucedería si se enferman los empleados que cortan las carnes del país?

Al mismo tiempo que las empacadoras de carne se agilizan para tratar de satisfacer la demanda, sus empleados comienzan a contraer COVID-19. Sin embargo algunos de ellos dicen que se están presentando al trabajo enfermos por no tener licencia con goce de sueldo por enfermedad y por la posibilidad de ser penalizados si se quedan en su casa.

What Happens If Workers Cutting Up the Nation’s Meat Get Sick?

As meatpackers rush to meet demand, their employees are starting to get COVID-19. But some workers say they’re going to work ill because they don’t have paid sick days and can be penalized for staying home.

We Tracked the Last Time the Government Bailed Out the Economy. Here’s What to Know About the $1 Trillion Coronavirus Plan.

A decade ago, the government spent more than $1 trillion to bail out companies and stimulate the economy. What have we learned since then?

Una de las pediatras que atendió a niños inmigrantes describe un patrón de brechas en la atención médica proporcionada en los albergues

¿Qué tan preparada está la administración de Trump para la corriente de menores no acompañados en la frontera? Una queja nueva señala que los albergues en Nueva Jersey ya habían fallado al no responder adecuadamente cuando tuvieron niños lastimados o enfermos.

Pediatrician Who Treated Immigrant Children Describes Pattern of Lapses in Medical Care in Shelters

How prepared is the Trump administration for an influx of unaccompanied minors at the border? A new complaint shows shelters in New Jersey were already failing to respond when kids got hurt or sick.

Senators Demand Investigation Into Sexual Abuse at Immigrant Children’s Shelters

Sens. Charles Grassley and Dianne Feinstein said they are particularly concerned that allegations of sexual assault of unaccompanied minors aren’t being properly investigated.

En los albergues para menores inmigrantes, los casos de agresión sexual se abren y cierran en un dos por tres

En distintos lugares del país, niños denuncian casos de agresión sexual en los albergues para menores inmigrantes. Alex decidió dar a conocer su situación cuando informó en el albergue que dos adolescentes mayores que él lo arrastraron a uno de los dormitorios. El incidente quedó grabado en un video de vigilancia, pero su caso nunca fue investigado. Alex no es el único.

In Immigrant Children’s Shelters, Sexual Assault Cases Are Open and Shut

Across the country, kids are reporting sexual assaults in immigrant children’s shelters. Alex decided to come forward. He told the shelter two older teens dragged him into a bedroom. There was surveillance video. But Alex's case wasn't investigated. His isn’t the only one.

Agency Policing Tent City for Immigrant Kids Lacks Experience Investigating Sex Crimes Involving Children

The Federal Protective Service, which primarily secures federal buildings, has been charged with responding to incidents at the shelter with 2,800 immigrant children in Tornillo, Texas.

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