Metro Atlanta Waffle House workers want to unionize for better wages, stopping workplace violence

Atlanta employees said the only way to make change is through unionizing.
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 5:19 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2023 at 10:27 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Waffle House workers across metro Atlanta are demanding better working conditions.

Gerald Green is a Waffle House employee in metro Atlanta. He recently gave his boss a demand letter calling for more workplace security, better wages, and staffing.


@Waffle House workers in Atlanta, GA delivered a demand letter to management this morning! We're fed up with unsafe working conditions like lack of security and faulty equipment. We generate the profits for Waffle House, we deserve to work under safe conditions and pay that matches our hard work! #OrganizetheSouth #UnionsforAll #solidarityseason #UnionStrong #Unions #work #WorkerPower #CorporateGreed #wafflehouse #wafflehouseworker #demandletter

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“This company is profitable because of our hard work and yet, our wages cannot cover the basic necessities like food, rent, and utilities,” Green read in the letter in a TikTok video. “Waffle House knows it can afford and provide us with a safe workplace and to pay us more, and yet, they refuse to do.”

Union of Southern Service Workers (USSW) told Atlanta News First on Monday that there are Waffle House workers in Atlanta who are a part of their union.

The USSW is also supporting Waffle House employees in South Carolina who went on strike last month amid what employees said is ongoing violence happening in and around the restaurant.

“I have been with the company 24 years. In this time, I’m only making $16 an hour and I’ve been through two robberies,” one South Carolina Waffle House Employee said.

Over the years, Atlanta News First has also covered a number of deadly shootings in the parking lots of local Waffle Houses and nearby them.

The chain known for its quick and friendly services has also garnered a reputation for dealing with intoxicated and unruly customers late at night.

Waffle House is headquartered in Norcross.

Atlanta News First reached out to Waffle House in response to the workers’ concerns.

“Waffle House is proud of its long record of effectively addressing concerns our associates report to us,” Njeri Boss, vice president of public relations, said in a statement. “We intend to do that directly with our associates.”

Atlanta employees like Green said the only way to make change is through unionizing.

“The only way we are going to get better working conditions, better health, better safety, more pay is if we continue to organize in unions like the Union of Southern Service Workers,” Green said.