May 10, 2016 08:11 AM EDT

Verizon Strike 2016 Update: Why Single Parents Are On Strike

By Jane Reed

A single mother tells a Verizon CEO why she's participating in one of America's largest workforce strike.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam was faced with a sensitive message on Mother's Day. Amanda Poe, a Verizon maintenance administrator in Wilmington, Delaware sent a message out to CEO McAdam. Her message contains her reasons why she's joining the strike as a local parent and a union member.

Poe is just one out of the 40,000 Verizon employees who are currently on strike but she made sure that her voice was heard on Medium. Poe decided to deviate from the usual dialogue between the company and the union officials. She used Mother's Day as a venue for communication. According to Patch, Poe explains that going on strike was not an easy decision for Poe but she felt that she had to do it because her family was on the line. She writes, "I am a single mother of two gorgeous teenage girls who I adore. They are my life. They are the reason that I am the person I am today, and they are the reason that I need a contract that includes job security, a job in my community, and affordable health benefits."

Poe hoped that her message to CEO McAdam would hit home during the beloved special holiday. She continued to say that raising her daughters are already difficult but what's more difficult is that one of them has a birth defect that she's struggling to take care. "My youngest daughter Halley was born in May of 2001 with a bilateral cleft lip and palate... At the time, she was diagnosed as one of the most extreme cases ever recorded in my state."

She stressed that her reasons for joining the Verizon strike was because of the health coverage that was able to cover her daughter's surgeries and hospital expenses. She was always grateful for Verizon's benefits and to have it taken away from her means she would need to pay out of pocket.

She ends her plea by saying that she's a mom and stresses that... "When making changes and negotiating this contract, please remember that we all have lives and stories. Our stories are what make us human and real."

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