Protests and Strikes Expected as ‘Green Pass’ for Italian Workers Comes into Force

Covid ‘Green Passes’ have come into force in Italy for workers both in the public and private sector, meaning those who choose not to get ‘jabbed’ or haven’t recently tested (costing a small fortune) or recovered from the virus will be suspended from work without pay and could be fined up to €1,500 (£1,270). Workplaces that don’t comply with the rules also face being fined.

Around three million workers haven’t been vaccinated against Covid and strikes and protests are expected to take place in opposition to the new measures in the coming days and weeks. Sky News has the story.

The rule was approved by Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet in mid-September…

The pass is already required in Italy to enter museums, theatres, gyms and indoor restaurants, as well as to take long-distance trains and buses or domestic flights.

The workplace requirement has sparked big protests in Rome, with some demonstrators turning violent and clashing with police last weekend.

More unrest is feared and workers at a main port have threatened a strike.

The Government hopes the pass will encourage unvaccinated Italians to get the jab.

According to a Government document seen by Reuters news agency, 15% of private and 8% of public sector workers have no Green Pass.

But under the new rules they can be suspended without pay and fined if they work without it – a move that has been criticised by some.

The right-wing League’s Luca Zaia, Governor of Veneto, said: “We will not be able to grant a swab every 48 hours to all the unvaccinated.

“The business people I am in contact with are extremely worried.”

The UIL union said in a statement: “This is a very restrictive measure that could have a serious impact on social stability and exacerbate an already complicated situation.”

Unions said tests should be free for workers who don’t want to be vaccinated, but the Government said they would be capped at €15.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: How else can we stop these measures other than by stopping the economy, asks a spokesman for striking port workers. BBC News has the story.

“It is time to stop the economy, which is perhaps the only way we can show this Government that many people are struggling,” port workers’ spokesman Stefano Puzzer told Rai TV. “Many will remain without wages, purely because they exercised their free choice of not having the vaccine.” …

Dock workers in Trieste offered to call off their action if the Government delayed making the Green Pass obligatory until the end of October, but that was rejected by Rome.

Also worth reading in full.

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