Waffle House workers ‘fed up’ with paying for food they don’t eat

Flying chairs and fights with customers may be commonplace for Waffle House workers, but meal breaks apparently are not.

Employees at the Southern restaurant chain see a considerable amount of change from their paychecks each week for food consumed, even if they didn’t eat it. reported The Messenger.

Atlanta-based cook Gerald Green, who said he barely eats at home, told the outlet that the restaurant has deducted $39 per untouched meal in the past three weeks, and that “there’s no way to opt out.”

Now, “fed up” the workers are demonstrating on pickets and 13,000 signed petitions to pressure Waffle House to keep the position.

They are also seeking other guarantees in terms of higher salaries and better safety protocols. in the midst of fierce customer fights at the restaurant that have been widely reported in recent years.

Many Waffle House employees don’t eat worth the cost of the food, workers say.
Southern Service Workers Union

“Waffle House workers across the South are fed up,” reads the petition from the Southern Service Workers Union.

“We are sick and tired of earning poverty wages, the constant threat of violence in stores, and mandatory deductions on meals whether we eat during the shift or not.”

One South Carolina waitress finds the dining policy especially unfair since she barely has a moment to enjoy the menu items.

“I’m usually the only waiter working the second shift, so I’m running around and don’t have time to eat,” said employee Summer Schoolmeester-Cochran.

“But Waffle House still makes me pay for it.”

She’s not alone, says Georgia-based worker Cindy Smith.

“Between 85 and 95 percent of us don’t even eat Waffle House food.” she told “We still have to pay for it.”

The mandatory fee has also increased lately and workers were not notified, Smith said.

“Food deductions have always been discounted, but they were only like $1.50 per shift. So they decided to start improving it. Every day you work now, $3.75 comes out of your paycheck. “That’s more than I make in an hour.”

The Post has contacted Waffle House for comment.

Smith also said the fee makes it harder for her to pay for the food she actually eats, and that, along with the lack of security, makes her angry.

“At one point, probably in 2011, I was robbed at gunpoint,” he said. “Waffle House wouldn’t come close and I had to work my entire shift.”

Waffle House workers protested a meal deduction policy and safety issues at the chain.
Waffle House workers protested a meal deduction policy and safety issues at the chain.
Southern Service Workers Union

When Smith joined the recent demonstration outside Waffle House headquarters in the Atlanta area, he said bosses dismissed his concerns.

“We all stand out there. We were very quiet. We were not rude. We were not disrespectful,” she told “Today.”

“We only sent three people to deliver 13,000 signed petitions to tell us that if we didn’t leave the property they were going to call the police and they threw the 13,000 petitions in the trash.”

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