VICTORIAN secretary of the Australian Workers Union, Cesar Melhem, will become an state upper house MP.
Mr Melhem will represent the Western Metropolitan Region in the state legislative council, filling the vacancy left by Martin Pakula.
Mr Pakula is moving to the lower house after winning the Lyndhurst by-election last month, following sitting member Tim Holding's resignation.
Mr Melhem said although he has decided to leave the union, he will still serve Victorians in his new role.
"I know first-hand the challenges that workers and their employers are facing at this particular time in our state's history," he said.
"I am humbled by this opportunity to take my contribution to the next step as a member of the Victorian Parliament."
Mr Melhem was endorsed by the ALP's national executive on Friday.
Long-serving AWU official, and member of the union's national executive, Ben Davis, is expected to be formally endorsed as the new AWU Victorian secretary later this week.
And this is what we heard about Mr Melhem and his work for the AWU/HSU/Labor Party just a few months ago
4 months ago
THE Australian Workers Union is again under pressure after the emergence of a current slush fund used to bankroll ALP factional dogfights including elections within the disgraced Health Services Union.
AWU Victorian secretary Cesar Melhem reluctantly went public yesterday to confirm that a non-profit company he runs, Industry 2020, had raised about $500,000 since 2008 to support the political activities of his Right faction sub-group within the ALP.
Notable among those activities was a ''significant'' outlay of funds on the bitter HSU election in 2009. As workplace relations minister in August 2008, Prime Minister Julia Gillard was a guest speaker at the inaugural fund-raising lunch for the Industry 2020 fund at Flemington racecourse, which generated about $250,000 with nearly half that profit.