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Union boss faces Fair Work application

AAP logoAAP 25/11/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

The Fair Work Commission will be asked next week to look at how union boss Jim Metcher was permitted access to work sites when he had domestic violence charges against him nine years ago.

The commission will hear on Monday afternoon the application by federal Employment Minister Michaelia Cash for a full bench hearing.

The matter was listed at the commission's own motion when deputy president Jeff Lawrence became aware of "issues concerning the potential non-disclosure of relevant information in the original application for a permit by Mr Metcher", a FWC spokeswoman said on Friday.

Mr Metcher, the NSW state secretary of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union, has stepped aside from the role and had his Labor Party membership suspended after revelations he faced six charges of assaulting family members in 2007 but no conviction was recorded.

Mr Metcher argues he's never been convicted of offences that would be make him unfit for exercising the duties of a union secretary under the Fair Work Act.

His family has also said he took full responsibility for his actions and had "voluntarily entered a process of treatment and self-reflection".

Senator Cash says a FWC full bench should examine whether Mr Metcher was a fit and proper person to have been granted a workplace entry permit.

"In my view the extent of the apparent non-disclosure ... and the nature of these charges raises significant public interest considerations which warrant the attention of the full bench," she said in her letter of application.

She argues right of entry to a worksite carries responsibilities, and workers and employers need to be confident those entering the site do not have a history of violence.

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