Construction Shutdown: Melbourne Anti-Vaccination Protests Force Industry Halt

Subscribe to The Global Herald in Google News

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Construction Shutdown: Melbourne Anti-Vaccination Protests Force Industry Halt” – below is their description.

Melbourne’s construction industry is shutting down for at least two weeks amid concerns that right-wing extremist groups who have infiltrated the union movement are behind violent anti-vaccination protests in Australia’s second-largest city in the Victoria state.

“We have seen appalling behavior on site and on our streets, and now we’re acting decisively and without hesitation,” Victoria state Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas said in an emailed statement, announcing the closure from Tuesday. Concerns had been raised about the sector’s compliance with public health measures and directions.

Angry crowds gathered again Tuesday, firing flares and fireworks on the streets of Melbourne. Protesters hurled cans and kicked police cars, in defiance of the shutdown that will impact much of the state.

“The economic cost of this decision is estimated to be A$2.2 billion ($1.6 billion) in construction activity,” Australia’s assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar said in a statement. The closures will cost around A$640 million ($464 million) in lost wages and 320,000 jobs across the industry, 9.2% of all jobs in the state, it said.

Melbourne, which is in the midst of a sixth round of stay-at-home orders amid an outbreak of the delta variant of the coronavirus, saw violent anti-lockdown demonstrations over the weekend in which young men were seen scuffling with police, leading to more than 200 arrests.

Then on Monday, hundreds of construction workers protested against state government’s orders — backed by the union movement — to enforce mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for people employed in the industry from Sept. 24. Bottles and crates were thrown at the union leaders.

“This crowd was heavily infiltrated by neo-Nazis and other right wing extremist groups,” the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union said in a statement. The workers union condemned the protests, saying it was “clear that a minority of those who participated were actual union members.”

The Victorian government said the shutdown was due to concern about case numbers, transmission risk and reduced compliance. It added that this action would “reduce movement, minimize transmission and allow for the entire industry to appropriately adapt to the Chief Health Officer Directions, including increasing vaccination rates.”

Victoria on Tuesday recorded 603 new infections, a record high for the current outbreak. Victorian state Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters that roughly two-thirds of those cases were linked to construction sites across the state, with a number of the people living regionally and working in Melbourne.

The head of Australia’s union movement said she was aware that construction unions had been targeted by “extremist groups” riled about the issue around vaccination mandates in the industry.

“This protest has been called for, led and promoted by far-right groups and anti-vax groups and there is a big overlap between the two at the moment unfortunately,” said Sally McManus, the secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel

Got a comment? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, below. Please note comments are moderated before publication.

Subscribe to The Global Herald in Google News

About This Source - Bloomberg QuickTake: Now

Bloomberg L.P. is a privately held financial, software, data, and media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

It was founded by Michael Bloomberg in 1981, with the help of Thomas Secunda, Duncan MacMillan, Charles Zegar, and a 12% ownership investment by Merrill Lynch.

Recent from Bloomberg QuickTake: Now:

  • Democrats’ Billionaire Tax Plan Puts About 700 People in Its Sights
  • Heavy Rainfall Brings Deadly Flooding to Sicily
  • Biden Says Today’s Republicans ‘Stand for Nothing’ While Campaigning in Virginia
  • In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

    Latest News about Covid-19

    Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.

    5 Recent Items: COVID-19

  • Winter Olympics: Beijing residents confident Games will happen as China sees new COVID-19 outbreaks
  • Live: Rishi Sunak delivers the Budget
  • Charlize Theron: ‘We need a fairer distribution of Covid vaccines’ – BBC News
  • Don’t Choose Extinction – UNDP | United Nations | Jack Black | Climate Action
  • Budget 2021: Economy will return to pre-Covid levels at the turn of year, Sunak says
  • In This Story: Lockdown

    During the 2020 Covid-19 epidemic, lockdown has come to mean the practice of attempting to control transmission of the virus by means of restricting people’s movement and activities on a broad scale, usually on a national or state-wide basis.

    3 Recent Items: Lockdown

  • Watch live: Rishi Sunak delivers 2021 Budget to herald ‘new age of optimism’
  • Moscow imposing strict lockdown to reduce COVID-19 case numbers
  • Queensland may have endured its last COVID lockdown | 7NEWS
  • Leave a Comment

    We don't require your email address now, just your name. BUT, if you do add it, you may be notified if there are replies to your comment. Please make respectful comments, which add value, and avoid personal attacks on others. Comments failing to adhere to these guidelines will not be published.