Nancy Cleeland is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who covered organized labor and low-wage workers for a decade with the Los Angeles Times. She now works with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
On the morning of July 8, a temporary worker in Camden, New Jersey, slipped and fell into an 8-foot-deep vat of liquid chocolate, where he was struck by a large mechanical mixer and killed. His name was Vincent Smith II and he was 29 years old. He'd recently moved to Camden from rural Pennsylvania in search of work and soon learned that the only way into the local warehouses and factories was through a temp agency. The chocolate plant was his first assignment. He'd been on the job two weeks.