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.…

These 5 Easy Actions Will Support Immigrants This Week

Our community has seen firsthand how the broken U.S. immigration system can lead to devastation after months of confusion, anxiety, and heartbreak. We know the American Dream cannot survive without the hard work and contributions of immigrant workers and families. Take these 5 steps this week to join CWJ and protect immigrant workers.

  1. Take our survey to join our Immigration Committee and Response Teams today. This survey takes less than 5 minutes and will get you part of our response team in the case of an ICE raid or other immigration crisis in our area.
  2. Friday, 3pm, at the Pentacrest, Immigrants are Here to Stay! Join CWJ, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Iowa Action and Student Engagement. Stand with students, international and domestic, to demand action from University President Bruce Harreld to protect students left vulnerable to future immigration legislation or executive orders.
  3. Allies and Members, join our Membership Meeting this Saturday, 1pm, at the Center for Worker Justice.

Iowa: Here To Stay! / ¡Estamos Aqui Para Quedarnos !

Friday, March 3rd, from 3pm-4:30pm on the Pentacrest / Viernes 3 de marzo, de 3pm a 4:30pm en el Pentacrest

Organized by CWJ, CCI, and IASE.
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This will be a rally supporting immigrant rights throughout our community: in the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, and all over Iowa.

We will be meeting on the Pentacrest because the University of Iowa President, Bruce Harreld, has remained silent on various student issues, including immigration. We demand him to speak out against the horrible bills in Iowa that would devastate our home state.

Este será un rally de apoyo a los derechos de los inmigrantes en toda nuestra comunidad: en la Universidad de Iowa, en Iowa City, y en todo Iowa.

Nos reuniremos en el Pentacrest porque el presidente de la Universidad de Iowa, Bruce Harreld, ha permanecido en silencio sobre diversos temas estudiantiles, incluyendo la inmigración. Le exigimos que hable en contra de las horribles leyes en Iowa que devastarán nuestro estado .…

Enough of Corporate Agenda

More anti-worker, anti-immigrant bills are being rushed through the Iowa state capitol, and it’s important that each of us speak up to our legislators against them. While lawmakers continue to make life easier for billionaire corporations by eliminating rules that protect Iowans, lowering wages, and handing away millions in corporate welfare, they are playing an age-old game of divide and conquer by scapegoating our immigrant brothers and sisters for growing inequality. Please call your legislator today to oppose these bills:

Senate File 172 would make the flawed E-Verify system mandatory for most Iowa employers. This system checks workers’ photos, names, and social security numbers against several federal databases that are riddled with errors due to name changes related to marriage, changes in immigration status that aren’t yet recorded, and typos. It creates a burden for both workers and employers, and is just a complicated duplication of the I-9 system already required in every workplace.…

Membership Meeting & Allies/Reunion de la Membresia y Aliados

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We invite you to attend the monthly meeting of members of the Center, where you will hear news from the community, the work being done; Updates on immigration and what we are doing to protect the community, we will also talk about the education of our children, theft of wages and affordable housing.
We will have Daycare !

This is an open invitation to our Allies in Iowa City, join the Membership Meeting & find out how you can support our immigrant’s Community on this political moment.…

Stop the Legislature’s Assault on Iowa Workers!

On February 7, Republican lawmakers in Des Moines filed bills that constitute an all-out attack on workers in every city, county, and school district in our state. CWJ President Mazahir Salih and Vice-President Irund A-wan joined hundreds of union and community members at the capitol yesterday to speak out against these attacks.

House Study Bill 92 would take away the minimum wage increase our members fought so hard to pass, and throw tens of thousands of Iowa workers back to the poverty minimum of $7.25. It would ban local governments from passing any laws or resolutions that provide higher standards than state or federal law on any issue related to workers’ rights, as well as certain consumer environmental protections.
House Study Bill 84/ Senate File 213 is an extreme proposal that strips away over 100 years of basic civil service and union rights of public service workers – such as teachers, firefighters, secretaries, and snowplow drivers.…