Verizon workers on strike in Staten Island, N.Y., in April. (Thomas Altfather Good / CC BY-ND 2.0)

“Treating us like tools isn’t good for Verizon’s bottom line,” Dan Hylton, a Verizon technician, wrote in an open letter to Lowell C. McAdam, the CEO of Verizon — which makes $1.5 billion in profits every month. Hylton is on strike because the company is increasingly sending technicians like him on last-minute assignments, sometimes hundreds of miles away from home. The assignments are a particularly stressful problem for Hylton because he is caring for a sick wife, who could die if he is not around to keep any eye on her condition.

“Last week, I took a drastic step,” Dan Hylton of Roanoke, Va. wrote in the letter, published at Medium. “Instead of going in to work at Verizon, I stood outside with a picket sign. I’m on strike because it’s time for you to listen to us.”

“I install and fix Internet, cable and phone service,” he continued. “I’m proud to say I’ve volunteered to serve wherever the need is greatest. I went to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and Central Florida after bad storms there.”

“Yet on a work call the other day, one of the managers said technicians like me were ‘tools to accomplish a task.’ Maybe that manager chose those demeaning words poorly, but that comment stung with more truth than I can easily admit.”

“There is another way to be,” Hylton continued further down in the letter, “and that’s treating us like family.”

Continue reading.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig