NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Legal Newsline) - A Verizon employee has filed unfair labor practice charges against Communications Workers of America Local 2205 for actions the union allegedly took during a recent strike.

Monika Cassell claims the union ignored her right to refrain from paying union dues.

Cassell and other Verizon employees resigned from the union and revoked their dues deduction authorizations - a document used by union officials to automatically collect dues from employees' paychecks - while the union did not have a contract at their workplaces.

Virginia's Right to Work law stipulates that no worker can be required to join or pay any money to a union, and under federal labor law, employees can revoke their dues deduction authorizations once a contract terminates.

According to Cassell's Oct. 3 complaint, Verizon continues to deduct the full union dues payments despite their intention to opt out, and CWA union officials continue to demand that Verizon keep taking union dues from the workers' pay.

Cassell is also challenging the CWA union's dues deduction authorizations because they do not allow employees to revoke when no contract is in effect, as federal law requires.

Instead, Verizon is forcing the employees to pay full union dues for at least another year - the one-year anniversary of a new contract between the company and the CWA, according to Cassell's complaint.

"Apparently at the behest of CWA union bosses, Verizon is refusing to honor Monika Cassell's legally protected right to resign her union membership and cut off union dues," said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work.

"It is indefensible that workers who resigned their union membership and continued to work to support their families in defiance of the CWA-ordered strike are now having their rights violated by company and union officials."

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