More than businesses commit to not lowering minimum wage - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

More than 40 businesses commit to not lowering minimum wage

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JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) -

A list published by the Center for Worker Justice featured more than 40 businesses in Johnson County that have committed to not lowering the minimum wage from $10.10.

This is part of an ongoing effort by the Center for Worker Justice, who have been going door to door to businesses asking them to pledge to not lowering wages for workers. Those that do are given a blue sign showing their commitment.

Some businesses have chosen to hang those signs at the front of their buildings.

Nodo downtown was the first business to sign the pledge. Their sign hangs inside, near their front counter.

"It just seems like why would I go back? It doesn't make any sense. All the employees seem happy with it," nodo downtown co-owner, Josh Silver, said. 

Mazehir Salih, a community organizer for the Center for Worker Justice, said it's all about showing support for the businesses that keep the higher wages and to encourage others to do the same.

"I want to take it as a positive way, that if like my neighbor is doing it, I will do it. People here, everybody, try to move this community forward, let us do it together and rise together and that's why I wanted to do it," Salih said.

For nodo downtown, prices were raised a little to meet adjustments but Silver said that the higher costs of being located downtown also played into the higher prices. He said that customers didn't seem to mine or notice.

Silver said by having a higher minimum wage, that it not only keeps things competitive for them and lowers the turnover rate, it keeps the restaurant to a higher standard.

"It's why Nodo has been successful because we have a good crew to make the food fast and correct and delicious every time. So, we never, I never, thought about going back even if it's an option," he said.

A list of businesses that either chose to lower their wages or couldn't maintain to keep them at $10.10 will not be made public, said Salih.

They are actively continuing contacting businesses about signing their pledge and will update the list as more businesses sign on.

However, Silver said he has seen how this can affect businesses that don't.

"I can see there could be a backlash that they don't want to deal with. So, it may be for the wrong reasons for keeping it at the minimum but it's probably, I guess you could say, has scared them into doing that," Silver said.

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