Workers Celebrate Positive Impact of Johnson County Wage

In 2015, Johnson County workers won a long-overdue, historic minimum wage increase when the Johnson County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved raising the minimum wage in three steps: to $8.20 in November 2015; $9.15 on May 1, 2016, and $10.10 on January 1, 2017. After years of inaction from Congress, County Supervisors joined 29 states and dozens of other cities and counties in taking necessary action to address the growing crisis poverty wages are causing for Iowa families, schools, social services, and local economies.

By 2017 when the state legislature banned local minimum wage increases, three other Iowa counties had followed Johnson County’s lead and were poised to raise wages for tens of thousands more working Iowans. CWJ has since led efforts to maintain the Johnson County increase by seeking commitments from employers to voluntarily honor the $10.10 minimum wage. Over 160 Johnson County businesses have so far pledged to maintain the higher wage, with many now proudly displaying signs in support of the higher minimum.…

Our 2017 Winners

“We are here to stay! Immigrants are here to stay! Our minimum wage is here to stay! Our unions are here to stay!”

CWJ is proud to Honor those Leaders in our Community who have contributed to improving our  lives in the last year; here are the Winners:

Emerging Leader: Margarita 

Volunteer of the Year: Sally HartmanRecognition for Improving our Community: Johnson County Supervisors

Recognition of Work Team: Forest View Tenant Association

Momentum keeps building for $10.10 – the list so far:

Over 100 businesses have committed to honoring a livable wage within our community – but we’re not going to stop there.…

It’s not about charity – it’s about justice

Over the past several weeks, we’ve been working hard to make sure that local businesses continue to honor a minimum wage that our community can actually live off of. With the passage of HSB92, local businesses no longer have a legal obligation to continue to pay $10.10, but as Rev. Rudolph T. Juárez points out in his recent op-ed, it’s not enough for us to preform simple acts of charity, but to go after the root causes of suffering and injustice in our community – in other words, fighting for a better minimum wage.

“The foot of charity is well-received in society because it generates a “feel good — one with humanity” kind of sentiment in us. It is socially acceptable because it is practiced by saints, religious organizations, civic groups and well-intentioned individuals. The hallmarks of charity are food pantries, bus-tickets, homeless shelters, and handouts that satisfy the immediate needs of people.

Second Gala Fundraiser October 21

 

Celebrate local progress with us at CWJ’s Second Annual Gala on October 21, 2017 at 6:00 PM! Our members and allies have built a vibrant organization bringing hundreds together across boundaries of race, national origin, and immigration status. Through the hard work of our community, we’ve redefined what’s politically possible in our region.

We’re delighted to announce the return of the amazingly talented duo, Calle Suras the night’s musical guest as we honor the achievements and hard work of our members.

Here is the link to purchase tickets for the GALA 

Victory! – Unpaid wages recovered

Case came to the CWJ in April for help in recovering over $400 in unpaid wages owed by her former employer – money needed for car payments, groceries, and other essentials. After working with us and out supporters, she was able to receive pay for her missing hours.
Wage theft and abuse has no place in our community, and even one instance of it is too many. In April of this year, the Center for Worker Justice helped recover over $1000 in unpaid wages, in part of our efforts to demand better for our workers and our community.

Bill or no bill, we’re fighting for $10.10

HF 295 – the state bill that would attempt to roll back critical and hard-fought victories regarding the minimum wage and worker’s rights – has past its final hurdle in the Iowa Senate, and is now waiting to be signed by Governor Terry Branstad.

But we’re not waiting for that day.

Writing for the Gazette, Mitchell Schmidt has detailed our ongoing efforts to urge local businesses to continue paying their workers a living wage, to continue to offer the same level of economic support that members of our community rely upon to provide for themselves and their families. So far, we’ve heard from fifteen different businesses that they were going to commit to paying $10.10 an hour, and we’re continuing day in and day out to make that number as high as possible.

Our community organizer Mazahir Salih has been working since earlier this week asking businesses to make these commitments.…

Employers: stand up for our workers, our values, and honor $10.10

Asking anyone to live off of $7.25 – just $14,500 a year – is absurd, let alone asking anyone to support a family on such an income. On March 8th, we gathered to call on local businesses to honor the Johnson County minimum wage of $10.10, irregardless of whatever happens because of bills such as House File 295, which would roll back important victories regarding the minimum wage and also prevent any passage of laws relating to worker’s rights, housing discrimination, and some environmental regulations, all issues which disproportionately affect some of our community’s most vulnerable – and valuable – members.

Writing for The Gazette, columnist Paul Street makes the argument about the importance of fighting to protect gains in minimum wage, by breaking down the cost of living in Iowa City to show what a living wage would truly look like in Eastern Iowa, and attacking the callous cruelty of state legislators in Des Moines who are currently trying to remove our local legislature’s ability to set a local minimum wage that meets the needs of our community.…

Stand with Iowan Women: Protect Our Wages


WHAT: International Woman’s Day of Action with CWJ

WHEN: 4:30PM, Wednesday, March 8, 2017

WHERE: Ped Mall, 201 Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240

Corporate lobbyists representing big banks, hotel chains, and grocery stores are backing House File 295 in the Iowa statehouse that would lower our minimum wage and prohibit cities and counties from passing laws relating to workers’ rights, housing discrimination, and some environmental regulations.

The majority of minimum wage workers are women. Many women led the struggle for a higher wage two years ago. Women’s labor is worth more than poverty wages. 

We want answers from the businesses who fund and serve on the boards of these groups – such as HyVee, Fareway, Casey’s, Wells Fargo, West Bank, MidWest One, Iowa City Sheraton, Fairfield Inn, and Coralville Marriott. We are your workers and customers. We call on all our local businesses to:

  • Take a public stand – oppose House File 295 slashing pay, civil rights
  • Pledge to maintain our local minimum wage of $10.10/hour

Take action this Wednesday, 4:30p on the Ped Mall to take a stand on International Woman’s Day.…