Trieste port workers announce total block of operations

Port workers in Trieste – the seventh-largest port in Europe in terms of handling of goods and the first oil terminal in the Mediterranean – have announced a total block of operations. [Shutterstock/Simona Dibitonto]

Port workers in Trieste – the seventh-largest port in Europe for handling goods and the leading oil terminal in the Mediterranean – have announced a total block of operations starting Friday in protest against the national health pass mandate for all workers.

The move could also impact several other logistical hubs throughout the country.

In September, the trade association leading the protest, the Trieste Port Workers Coordination, spoke out against the national health pass. The pass, issued to anyone who is vaccinated, has recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months or has tested negative in the past 48 hours – is “not a health measure, but a measure of discrimination and blackmail that requires a significant part of workers to pay to be allowed to work,” they said.

They have been active in local protests against COVID-19 measures, including a demonstration on 11 October that attracted 15,000 people.

Government representatives have attempted to mediate. On Tuesday, the interior ministry published a document inviting companies in the port sector to make free tests available to staff without a health pass. The port workers refused the offer. According to estimates, around 40% of port workers in Trieste and 20% in Genoa do not have a health pass.

Several members of the ruling coalition criticised the interior ministry’s attempt.  Matteo Salvini’s League and Enrico Letta’s Democratic Party said it contradicts the reason for making the pass mandatory and favours the logistics sector above others.

(Viola Stefanello | EURACTIV.it)

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