Dockers and other workers gather for a protest in the port of Trieste on October 15, 2021 as new Green Pass requirements come into force.
A mandate for all workers in Italy to show a government-issued Covid-19 pass came into force on Friday, triggering protests at key ports and fears of disruption.
Anyone who is on a payroll — in the public or private sector — must have a ‘green pass’ with a QR code as proof of either full vaccination, recent recovery from infection or a negative test within the previous 48 hours.
Employees who go to work without the pass risk a fine of up to 1,500 euros ($1,730) and suspension without pay. Employers could also face fines if they allow staff to work without it.
The largest demonstrations were at the major northeastern port of Trieste, where labor groups had threatened to block operations and around 6,000 protesters, some chanting and carrying flares, gathered outside the gates.
Around 40% of Trieste’s port workers are not vaccinated, said Stefano Puzzer, a local trade union official, a far higher proportion than in the general Italian population.