Waffle House Workers In South Carolina On Strike Over Security Issues
In the morning of July 8, workers at a Waffle House in Columbia, South Carolina walked out of the popular breakfast stop and picked up signs to protest their working conditions. The strike is set to last for three days, as employees protest a variety of issues regarding their safety and wages they feel management undermines.
The walkout is supported by the locally-founded Union of Southern Service Workers, created to uplift low wage workers across the food and service industries. They are urging for more frequent on-sight security, regulated scheduling, and the suspension of mandatory check deductions for meals eaten, or not eaten, during shifts.
Longstanding employee Marshawna Parker, who has worked for the breakfast chain for over the past two decades, told The State that there is “no excuse” for there not to be more security at the restaurant. Parker believes that the security should be on sight 24/7, the same as the restaurant’s almost nationwide operating hours.
Waffle Houses across the southern region have been marred with fights and shootings as well, so much that the New York Times covered the rising problem.
As for the meal deductions, a fee ranging from $3 to $6 is taken out of employee’s paychecks for a meal during their shift, whether or not they eat it. Employees state that they are often too busy to actually utilize the meal option, and would prefer for it to be opt-in only.
The strike comes after a petition was sent to management regarding these concerns, but they only heard back silence. Due to this negligence, the workers swiftly organized a strike to hopefully get resolutions on the issues.
Those on the picket line have been uplifted by fellow USSW members in South Carolina, including those for other Waffle Houses, as they all seek to enact change for better wages and safer work environments.