Defiant union boss John Setka is showing no signs of taking up ACTU secretary Sally McManus’ recommendation that he resign.
But Ms McManus remains hopeful he will have a change of heart, saying it would be in labour movement’s best interests.
But Mr Setka, the Victorian secretary of the CFMMEU, insists only his construction union members will determine his future, and they’ve made it clear they’re backing him in.
After meeting on Thursday, Victorian delegates of the union’s construction division issued a statement saying they “fully support” Mr Setka as their secretary.
“We strongly condemn the cowardly and disgraceful attacks on both John and his family,” they said in a statement.
The group called for the national office of the CFMMEU to follow their lead and clarify comments Mr Setka was reported to have said about Rosie Batty.
Mr Setka has been suspended from the Labor Party and faces likely expulsion after reportedly telling colleagues at a meeting that Ms Batty’s advocacy had led to men having fewer rights.
Ms McManus said her decision was based on a range of issues involving Mr Setka, not the alleged comments about Ms Batty.
“For us, it is the whole situation (of his behaviour) … it is difficult for me because all these matters are before the courts and I am bound by the laws around that,” she said after the meeting.
“He said he is going to plead guilty to at least one of them. That is concerning. Having said that, the court process is still happening.
“Our point is this – we don’t condone domestic violence and not only do we not condone it, we will stand against it.”
Mr Setka is due in court on June 26 when he is expected to plead guilty to two criminal charges following an incident at a Melbourne home late last year.
He faces a charge of breaching a court order, along with another charge, details of which cannot be revealed for legal reasons.
Ms McManus said Mr Setka had caused the union movement damage.
Mr Setka told reporters as he left the meeting it had been a “nice open and frank discussion”.
Asked about his future he told reporters: “I’m going back to the office. My members are the ones that ask me … They’re the ones that pay my wages.”