Move over California: GA Waffle House workers demand $25 hour minimum wage

Not to be outdone by California which just approved a $20 an hour minimum wage for fast food workers, some Waffle House workers in the southeast also want a substantial pay hike and are demanding a rate of $25 an hour.

Over the weekend, employees at the popular eatery protested at several locations including one in Atlanta where they called for more money and better working conditions in a campaign organized by the Union of Southern Service Workers (USSW) which is promoting a petition to support workers who are “are rising up across the South.”

“This #SolidaritySeason, we need everyone – from Waffle House workers to community allies and elected officials – to sign this petition,” the USSW said.

“Waffle House workers from across the South are fed up,” the USSW states on its website. We’re sick and tired of making poverty wages, the constant threat of in-store violence, and mandatory meal deductions – whether we eat a meal or not while on a shift.”

“We refuse to be exploited – and so we’re getting organized,” the organization announced. “We’re launching a powerful set of demands on Waffle House to take back what is rightfully ours: A workplace based on respect, dignity and fair pay for everyone.”

“We’re asking for $25/hour,” said Gerald Green, an Atlanta-area Waffle House worker. “I am what they call a grill operator. I am a cook. I am a Rockstar cook. I have been at Waffle House for about seven years. I am the highest-level cook outside management.”

“Well I am a rockstar, so at my restaurant, I am making $17.75,” Green told WSB-TV. “You’re constantly having to go from one job to the next.”

(Video: YouTube/WSB-TV)

“A lot of workers are hurt by customers. A lot of workers are mistreated by customers. People say it is funny seeing people in fights all the time, like we are not really MMA Fighters like people online say we are,” Green added.

The food service uprising was served up with a reality check from users of X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, who pointed out the suicidal nature of the push for $25 an hour.

“We are aware of the activities that took place yesterday at three of our locations in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, in which nearly all the people who protested were not Waffle House Associates. Very few, if any were employees, contrary to the embellished descriptions that union officials have presented in their press release and accompanying photos sent to the media,” a Waffle House spokesperson said in a statement.

“With that said, Waffle House remains proud of its long history of effectively and directly addressing Associate concerns. Our senior management teams continue to work alongside our Associates as they have done since our company’s inception,” the spokesperson added.


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Chris Donaldson


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