Controversial union boss John Setka has refused to step down from his role as he denies claims he criticised the work of anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty.
Mr Setka says he is the victim of "false allegations" being made for political gain, and has called for the culprit to be suspended from the CFMMEU.
The Victorian secretary of the construction union has been suspended from the Labor Party and will likely be expelled, after reportedly telling a union meeting Ms Batty's advocacy had led to men having fewer rights.
"Everyone at that meeting knows that what has been reported is not what I said," he told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday alongside his wife Emma Walters.
"The member who leaked these false allegations, for nothing more than political gain, should be the one who hangs their head in shame.
"Why should I step down? For something that is totally inaccurate and false and just a lie?"
He said he spoke to the meeting about changes to some laws following Victoria's royal commission into family violence.
"It was just going into what lawyers had told me in regards to some of the laws and had nothing to do with Rosie Batty changing the laws or anything, there was nothing denigrating and nothing terrible said about Rosie Batty at all," he said.
Maritime union boss Christy Cain and Troy Gray from Victoria's electrical workers union backed Mr Setka's claim of false allegations on Wednesday.
Mr Setka brushed off the prospect of being expelled from the Labor Party at the behest of federal leader Anthony Albanese, but says it's the work of "dirty politics".
"I answer to my members and my members only," he said.
"I don't answer to the ALP. They don't pay my wages."
Mr Setka will have a chance to defend himself when Mr Albanese's expulsion motion goes to the ALP national executive on July 5.
The move could have implications for federal Labor, which has received at least $11 million in donations from the CFMMEU since 2000.
Coalition government minister Angus Taylor said expelling Mr Setka from Labor was a "no brainer".
"The question is whether Labor will leave the CFMMEU," Mr Taylor told reporters in Canberra.
"It is time for the Labor Party to sever ties with the CFMMEU, and that includes donations and affiliation."
Some officials of the CFMMEU, which has about 120,000 members, are already angry at the ALP over its failed election campaign.
They say the party had delivered mixed messages on the coal industry and pandered too much to inner-city voters.
Ms Walters was at times emotional during the couple's press conference, saying the public scrutiny of her husband had put the family in a "dark, dark place".
She says her husband has the "utmost respect" for women.
"It is very hard to watch the 'Get John Setka' campaign," Ms Walters said.
ACTU secretary Sally McManus has cut short an overseas trip to return to Melbourne to deal with the crisis, seeking a meeting with Mr Setka on Thursday.
The union heavyweight has already spoken with other union leaders, whom she says are concerned Mr Setka's words and action don't reflect their values and have impacted on the labour movement.
But she has also heard Mr Setka's defence and wants to know more.
"I will have more to say following this meeting," she said in a statement.
Mr Setka is due back 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.
Australian Associated Press