Groups rally on Ped Mall for $10.10 minimum wage

A rally was hosted by different rights groups to protest the state’s regulation of minimum wage, among other immigrant and workers’ issues.

People+participate+in+a+workers%27+rights+protest+on+the+Pedestrian+Mall+on+Thursday%2C+Sept.+14%2C+2017.+Rally+members+advocated+for+higher+minimum+wage+in+protest+of+the+state%27s+decision+to+regulate+county+minimum+wage+laws+earlier+this+year.+%28Nick+Rohlman%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Groups rally on Ped Mall for $10.10 minimum wage

People participate in a workers' rights protest on the Pedestrian Mall on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Rally members advocated for higher minimum wage in protest of the state's decision to regulate county minimum wage laws earlier this year. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

People participate in a workers' rights protest on the Pedestrian Mall on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Rally members advocated for higher minimum wage in protest of the state's decision to regulate county minimum wage laws earlier this year. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

People participate in a workers' rights protest on the Pedestrian Mall on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Rally members advocated for higher minimum wage in protest of the state's decision to regulate county minimum wage laws earlier this year. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

People participate in a workers' rights protest on the Pedestrian Mall on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Rally members advocated for higher minimum wage in protest of the state's decision to regulate county minimum wage laws earlier this year. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Brooklyn Draisey, [email protected]

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Iowa City Democratic Socialists of America, Iowa Action, Iowa City Federation of Labor, and the Center for Worker Justice in Eastern Iowa hosted a rally on Thursday on the Pedestrian Mall to protest the Iowa lawmakers’ decision to remove local governments right to regulate the minimum wage.

This marks the two-year anniversary of Johnson County passing an ordinance to set a minimum wage with gradual growth. As of Jan. 1, the wage had been raised to $10.10 an hour. File 295, which Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law on March 30, made the ordinance null and dropped the minimum wage back to $7.25 an hour.

Despite all of the blows that immigrants and union workers face, they are refusing to give up, Worker Center community organizer Mazahir Salih said.

“We refuse to be divided, and we refuse to go backwards,” she said.

While Johnson County is no longer able to raise wages, individual businesses still can. The Worker Center has received pledges from 150 businesses, such as Yotopia, Clinton Street Social Club, and Prairie Lights, to honor the $10.10 minimum, and it plans on adding more to that list, she said.

RELATED: County waits on minimum wage

“We are still continuing to reach out to businesses,” Salih said. “We are almost done with downtown, and then we’re going to go … segment by segment.”

It will also reach out to Coralville and North Liberty.

University of Iowa student Ryan Hall said minimum wage is not the only fight people face.

“I am doing work with Iowa Action, trying to mobilize the student population to recognize that our struggles in wages, in housing, in transportation, in access to democracy, are the same struggles that members in our community face as well,” he said. “We have a common struggle, that we must band together as students, as community members, as faculty, as immigrants, regardless of who we are, we are not getting paid enough.”

The rally also touched on immigrants’ rights in relation to DACA and the need for higher wages.

RELATED: Salih aims to bring rights, advocacy to City Council

“We have fought for our immigrant brothers and sisters at every turn, and we’re going to continue to do that,” Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan said. “We do not want a world in which people have to live in the shadows.”

Hawkeyes for DREAM Iowa President Emiliano Martinez and member Alexandria Doner spoke at the rally about DACA and advocated for supporting immigrants.

“Right now, what we have is a Legislature that has … made our state a shell of what it used to represent in terms of worker rights and worker wages,” said Martinez. “We’ve stripped away all these different things … the people in power are taking advantage of the immigrant community.”

Sarah Clark, a member of the Johnson County community, said that while these minimum-wage changes don’t affect her directly, she still feels strongly about giving people the rights that they deserve.

“I’m really glad to see folks out there pushing the idea that we need to continue to move forward, and just because the state Legislature or people in Washington, D.C., think they can turn back on our progress and on our rights, that we’re not just going to say ‘OK’ and not fight back,” Clark said.

Click below for more photos