Italian dockers threaten huge disruption over Green Pass

Most of Italy's ports will be blocked - Trieste spokesperson

13 October, 16:34

    Protest of dockers in Trieste against the Green Pass vaccine passport obligatory for all workplaces Protest of dockers in Trieste against the Green Pass vaccine passport obligatory for all workplaces

    ROME - A spokesperson for dockers in Trieste said Wednesday that activity at most of Italy's ports will be halted on Friday if the government presses ahead with its plan to make the Green Pass vaccine passport obligatory for all workplaces.
    There have been fears about disruption to supply chains in recent days due to the new obligation, especially in relation to Trieste, where a high proportion of port workers are reportedly not vaccinated for COVID-19.
    "The only opening possible for us is to remove the Green Pass," Stefano Puzzer, a spokesperson for the Trieste port workers, told the Huffington Post.
    "Friday's blockade (in Trieste) is confirmed and today there will be surprises because it won't stop just with Trieste.
    "It won't stop with Genoa either, almost all of Italy's ports will stop. We'll have confirmation tonight".
    The Green Pass, which shows that a person is vaccinated for COVID-19, has recovered from it or has tested negative in the last few days, will be obligatory for all Italian workplaces as of Friday.
    The interior ministry seemed to seek to defuse the row on Tuesday, with a circular letter that said employers at key facilities such as ports could offer free swabs to workers to enable those opposed to vaccination to obtain the Green Pass.
    This caused controversy, with Labour Minister Andrea Orlando saying COVID tests should not be free as this lessens the incentive to get vaccinated.
    The company that runs the port of Palermo has said it will not pay for its workers to be tested for the coronavirus.
    Some port companies in Genoa, however, are set to foot the bill for the tests.
    "It is coming to a situation in which there is a risk of transport being blocked in Italy on October 15-16," Paolo Uggè, the president of transport and logistics association Conftrasporto, told ANSA.
    "We haven't had answers from the ministry.
    "If this attitude continues and no clarification arrives, anything could happen.
    "We are thinking of calling on firms to halt their trucks".
    Premier Mario Draghi's government on Tuesday did issue some clarification about how the obligation to have the Green Pass vaccine passport to enter all public and private workplaces will be applied when it comes into force on Friday.
    People who do not have the Green Pass will not be allowed in their place of work but it will not be possible for them to be fired for this reason.
    Every day workers miss because they do not have the Green Pass will be counted as an "unjustified absence" and will not be paid, nor will it count for pension contributions or the accrual of time off for holidays. People who go to a place of work without the Green Pass risk fines of between 600 and 1,500 euros. Employers have the responsibility to check that staff have the Green Pass, using a special app provided by the government. Checks should be done every on a sample of at least 20% of the workforce. People who are unable to get vaccinated for health reasons will get a special pass and will be able to show a doctor's note to access the workplace while they wait to receive it. The government has said that customers will not have the right to check if workers such as taxi drivers and hairdressers have the Green Pass and vice-versa. It said that, in addition to their staff, companies will also have to check if external contractors that enter their premises have the health certificate.

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