We’re teaming up with our friends at SEIU, and looking for someone like you!

 

Do you want to work for economic and social justice in Des Moines?   

Do you want to carry on the tradition of social movements and organize people’s strength in numbers to protect and advance freedom, justice, and equality for all?

Do you want to join with others to build movements across the Midwest – where they are most needed – and help change the direction of the nation?

Do you want to learn to be more skilled, effective and smarter about organizing?

If you answered yes, then we want you!

We seek serious and highly committed applicants for our paid summer canvasser program. We look for people who want to fight the nation’s hardest political battles, happening today in America’s Heartland in order to take the country in a different direction.

Key Responsibilities: To identify and sign up workers in the workplace and greater community. This includes engaging workers at or near their work place, areas of public transit, and in the community.

Ideal Candidate: The ideal candidate will have (i) passion for economic and social justice, (ii) ability to engage and inspire people regardless of religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, language, class and/or experiences, (iii) ability to work flexible hours and adapt to a changing schedule.

Required: Possession of a valid U.S. driver’s license, proof of auto insurance, and an automobile for business use.

Compensation: $15.00/hour

Position Term: This is a temporary position with potential to last up until September 8th.

Hours: Canvasser could work up to 40 hours, but no more than 40 hours per week. May include some weekends.

Start the application process by clicking here!

Days after the Nov. 6 election, CCI members met with Senator Harkin in Des Moines to discuss the upcoming fiscal cliff facing Americans at year’s end.  We asked Senator Harkin to stand with everyday people and push for a deal that preserves vital public programs and asks the wealthy to pay their fair share.

Senator Harkin told us with assurance that no deal is better than a bad deal – he would not accept any deal that involved cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other vital social programs; or where the wealthy and big corporations did not pay more.

And he said the same thing to CCI members and nearly 100 others from groups across the country in Washington, DC in early December.  We were there as part of a convening of groups hosted by the Campaign for Community Change, all unified under the principle that we need jobs, not cuts, to jump start our economy.

If we are to get our economy back on track, we need to focus on raising revenue and investing in jobs and services that rebuild our economy from the ground up – not cuts to vital programs millions paid into and depend upon.

 

The November 6 elections mattered, but were merely a step in the right direction.  The next step is for us to demand our elected officials work for a Fair Deal or no deal.

A fair deal for the American people means:

  • ending the Bush era tax cuts for the richest 2%
  • strengthening Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid without cutting benefits
  • reinvesting in education, housing and infrastructure
  • implementing a robust jobs creation program to jump start economic growth.
  • amend the haphazard implementation of the sequester to prevent senseless cuts and take time to address our nation’s fiscal issues.

And it’s up to us to make sure our elected officials put people before big corporations and Wall Street interests.  It’s up to us to fight back against the austerity narrative that benefits corporate power over everyday people.

 

What you can do:

  • Contact your Representative  and tell them that we want a fair deal or no deal as a response to the upcoming “fiscal cliff”.  Call (855) 521-4799 and simply follow the instructions to be connected.
  • Write a letter to the editor explaining the importance of Social Security and Medicare and how our elected officials need to end the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% – not cut vital programs that benefit millions of everyday people.
  • Sign up for our email action list to get the latest updates.
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

 

What we’re reading on the subject:

 

Can you believe that each year Iowa’s workers could miss out on $600 million in wages, and that Iowa Workforce Development only employs one investigator to enforce our state’s wage law?

Day in and day out Iowa CCI organizes low wage workers to reclaim their hard earned wages and we know how serious the problem is.  That’s why we worked with the University of Iowa Labor Center and the Iowa Policy Project to do the research and find the hard numbers. The Iowa Policy Project analyzed state and federal data and came to the same conclusion that Iowa CCI has been pushing for two years – we need stronger enforcement of labor law to ensure Iowa’s workers are paid fairly.

Give yourselves a round of applause! Iowa CCI is leading the charge to tackle wage theft and our organizing has raised the issue with state legislators, employers, and the general public.  This report is yet another tool we can use to ensure all workers are paid just wages for their hard work.

Here is a short summary of the IPP’s findings:

  • Wage theft causes low-wage Iowa workers to miss out on an estimated $600 million in wages each year.
  • Wage theft may be costing the state at least $45 million annually in unpaid tax revenue plus another $14 million in lost revenue to the state’s unemployment fund.
  • Iowa’s commitment to enforcing wage and hour laws lags far behind national and regional peers. Iowa employs just a single investigator, who is responsible for enforcing the law for 1.2 million private-sector workers.
  • Wage theft is disproportionately affecting workers in certain sectors of Iowa’s economy, including restaurants, construction, small businesses and the meatpacking and food processing industry.
  • Wage theft is having a disproportionate impact on Iowa’s growing low-wage workforce and on immigrant workers.

Download the full report here

The report explains the depth of Iowa’s wage theft problem, which industries are most heavily affected, the lack of effective enforcement measures, and used case studies (many of which came from Iowa CCI members) to tell the story of wage theft.

At the end the IPP gives recommendations – improving state labor law, strengthening enforcement, and building community partnerships – all solutions that Iowa CCI has been pushing for since the start of our worker justice campaign.  This year at the state capitol Iowa CCI Action Fund worked with legislators to introduce wage theft protection bills and increase funding for investigators, both solutions mentioned by the report, but neither of which passed through the legislature.

Read the Des Moines Register Article: Wage ‘theft’ tab in Iowa: $600 million

 

Learn more

Join the Fight

  • Join as an Iowa CCI member today or chip in $10 to support our organizing on this issue.
  • Sign up for our E-Mail Action list to get the latest updates.
  • Follow us on Facebook and  Twitter for more fun photos and live action updates.

 

LIKE and SHARE if you think Iowa needs to better enforce wage laws so all workers are paid fairly!

Our message for the Greater Des Moines Home Builders Association:  stop protecting unscrupulous employers from stealing wages with your inaction.

Yesterday 20 CCI members dropped by the Home Builders Association office to Executive Officer Creighton Cox to call Chris Kern, a subcontractor on one of the Home Show Expo houses, and tell him to stop ignoring his responsibilities as an employer and pay CCI member Roberto all of the money he is owed for his work with Double C Corp

Creighton was at the National Association of Home Builders Conference in New Orleans, and the woman who attended to us preferred to call the police instead of speak with our members or read our letter. To get Creighton’s attention CCI members “tweeted” messages to him, asking him to take action against wage theft.

Still, our members were firm in their commitment that the corporations at the top of the construction industry need to take responsibility and stop wage theft on their projects.  We went to reclaim Roberto’s payment, but also demand changes that will benefit and protect all workers. As CCI member Pedro said yesterday:

“This way the businesses will know that we the workers aren’t stupid.  We support each other.”

 

We went directly to the HBA because Chris only responds to pressure from the people who give him jobs, Grand Homes and Renovations and other members of the Home Builders Association.  He only answered our calls after we went to pass out flyers at the Home Show Expo several weeks ago. He knew he owed Roberto money and told CCI he would meet with us the next day, but he had to rearrange his schedule and he would call us back.  Since that phone call two weeks ago, Chris has not called us back or answered any of our calls back.

Our power analysis of the Home Show Expo wage theft case.

 

So, we’re climbing the power tree!

When the HBA washes their hands of wage theft that happened on a home in their own Home Show Expo, it allows Double C Corp and other subcontractors to steal wages from their workers with impunity.  We hold our businesses in Iowa to a higher standard.  Wage theft is rampant in the new home construction industry, and its time for the home builders to take a stand against worker abuses.

Will you contact the Home Builders Association and Grand Homes and Renovations about wage theft on their entry in the Home Show Expo?

  1. Creighton Cox, Executive Officer of HBA Des Moines
    (515) 778-5516
    ccox@desmoineshomebuilders.com
    The HBA needs to take responsibility and call Chris Kern and tell him to pay his workers.  They should not tolerate wage theft, especially on a house they use to showcase the best of the best. Let Creighton Cox know you think its a shame the HBA is showcasing wage theft and that he needs to work to resolve this problem ASAP.
  2. Carrie Norris, Grand Homes & Renovations
    (515) 967-6195
    carrieknorris@yahoo.com
    Carrie is an owner of Grand Homes & Renovations, who built house #7 and hired Chris Kern to do the roof.  CCI staff have spoken with Carrie and she called Chris once, but she needs to take the problem more seriously and ensure that Chris pays his workers. Carrie is also the Vice President of the HBA of Greater Des Moines.
  3. Chris Kern, Double C Corp
    515-202-4768
    See if you can get Chris on the phone and tell him to meet with CCI! Our calls so far have not been answered or returned.
After you’ve made a call or sent some emails, let us know how they went!

 

Check out more pictures:

Learn more

Join the Fight

  • Join as an Iowa CCI member today or chip in $10 to support our organizing on this issue.
  • Sign up for our E-Mail Action list to get the latest updates.
  • Follow us on Facebook and  Twitter for more fun photos and live action updates.

 

Share this information with your friends and family if you think Iowa should defend workers’ rights, not showcase wage theft.

This past Saturday Iowa CCI members were out in the heat at the Des Moines Home Show Expo – but not to see the houses.

We visited the Home Show Expo in Ankeny to stand up for worker justice in Iowa by informing Iowans that two roofers still have to be paid for their work installing the roof of one of the houses in the home show. We passed out flyers in the Home Show parking lot for over an hour and talked with a lot of concerned people.

Here’s a report from CCI member and Ankeny resident Gini Wolf about her day:

I had great responses from the people I spoke with.  A couple of guys said they had done roofing – they won’t work unless they get paid daily.  Another fellow identified himself as a laborer and was sympathetic.  Another group of men identified themselves as contractors – and they know that this situation happens sometimes.

The situation on House# 7:

4107 NE Bellagio Circle by Grand Homes and Renovations: The workers who installed the roof have not been paid by their employer, Chris Kern of Double C Corp.

Chris has not answered our calls or letters and Iowa Workforce Development is now investigating unpaid wages for work on this property.  We will fight to win the wages for our members, but this instance also begs the question: How many other homes in the Home Show Expo have left workers waiting for wages?

Photo of 4107 NE Bellagio Circle after the worker finished his roofing job.

The Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Des Moines — and Grand Homes and Renovations — should not allow wage theft on their projects, plain and simple.  When we asked a representative from the Home Builder’s Association to call Chris and tell him to pay his workers, he refused.  They don’t think it’s their problem – but when they showcase a house built with wage theft – it becomes their problem.

 

You can stand up to wage theft too, just like the members who talked with Home Show go-ers on Saturday.  Three people need to hear from you:

  1. Creighton Cox, Executive Officer of HBA Des Moines
    (515) 778-5516
    ccox@desmoineshomebuilders.com
    The HBA needs to take responsibility and call Chris Kern and tell him to pay his workers.  They should not tolerate wage theft, especially on a house they use to showcase the best of the best. Let Creighton Cox know you think its a shame the HBA is showcasing wage theft and that he needs to work to resolve this problem ASAP.
  2. Carrie Norris, Grand Homes & Renovations
    (515) 967-6195
    carrieknorris@yahoo.com
    Carrie is an owner of Grand Homes & Renovations, who built house #7 and hired Chris Kern to do the roof.  CCI staff have spoken with Carrie and she called Chris once, but she needs to take the problem more seriously and ensure that Chris pays his workers. Carrie is also the Vice President of the HBA of Greater Des Moines.
  3. Chris Kern, Double C Corp
    515-202-4768
    See if you can get Chris on the phone and tell him to meet with CCI! Our calls so far have not been answered or returned.
After you’ve made a call or sent some emails, let us know how they went!

 

Pictures from Saturday:

 

FUN!

 

Learn more

Join the Fight

  • Join as an Iowa CCI member today or chip in $10 to support our organizing on this issue.
  • Sign up for our E-Mail Action list to get the latest updates.
  • Follow us on Facebook and  Twitter for more fun photos and live action updates.

 

Share this information with your friends and family if you think Iowa should defend workers’ rights, not showcase wage theft.

How President Obama can fix the Housing Crisis and Create Jobs

 

A new report released today by Iowa CCI and the New Bottom Line coalition delivers a win/win way for President Obama administration to fix the housing crisis and create jobs. For Iowa this solution would pump $140 million into our Iowa economy and create 2,000 Iowa jobs.

 

>>Read the report here: “Iowa Underwater: How President Obama Can Fix the Housing Crisis and Create Jobs.”

From the report:

More than 43,000 Iowans have lost their jobs since the start of 2008, and 37,612 are expected to lose their home sby the end of 2012….

 

But the Obama Administration and the banks can do something right now to change all that. Requiring banks to write down all underwater mortgages to market value could:

  • Pump $139,123,396 into Iowa’s economy every year;
  • Create more than 2,056 jobs in Iowa;
  • Save Iowa families an average of $373 per month on mortgage payments;
  • Decisively fix the foreclosure crisis.

…underwater mortgage debt is on of the primary drags on economic recovery.

 

The report, calls on the President to:

  • Allow the state Attorneys General to conduct a full investigation into the fraudulent and illegal activities of the Wall Street banks that caused the foreclosure;
  • Ensure that the big banks are not let off the hook for their crimes. There cannot be a broad release of claims in any current or future settlement talks with the big banks;
  • Require a minimum of $200 – $300 billion from the big banks in principal reduction for underwater homeowners.

“In Des Moines alone, 24 percent all mortgages are underwater,” said CCI member Mike McCarthy of Des Moines, “if President Obama required the banks to fix what they broke and write down the principal on all underwater mortgages to current market value, he could inject a direct cash stimulus into State’s economy of $139,123,396   – at no cost to the taxpayers.

“The banks can afford to write down principal for underwater homeowners and pay restitution to defrauded homeowners,” McCarthy said, “U.S. banks raked in $35 billion in profits this summer alone and are sitting on a historically high level of cash reserves of $1.64 trillion.”

>>Read the new report Iowa Underwater here.

 

Click “LIKE” or “Tweet” below to share this story far and wide.