Corona protests get out of hand, Melbourne shuts down construction sector

Updated 17 min ago3 hours ago in ABROAD

SYDNEY –

The construction industry in the Australian city of Melbourne will be at a standstill for the next two weeks. The regional authorities have decided to do so due to violent corona protests by construction workers, involving extremist groups, and poor compliance with the corona measures within the sector.

In construction, from 27 September a vaccination obligation due to limited compliance of corona measures in the industry. On Tuesday, in the state of Victoria, which includes Melbourne, 2012 new infections recorded, a peak in the current outbreak. About two in three infections are linked to construction. As soon as work resumes, all workplaces must comply with the corona measures. The staff must be able to prove that they have had at least one corona jab.

On Monday, five hundred people held a demonstration against the vaccination obligation at the office of a construction union. Protesters threw bottles and other objects at union leaders and broke down the office door. The crowd was dispersed by riot police. Regional Industry Minister Tim Pallas says he has seen “appalling behaviour”. “Now we act resolutely and without hesitation.”

In addition to construction workers, the group of demonstrators also included neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists, the union reports. He condemned the violence, pointing out that “clearly a minority of those who took part in the protest were genuine trade unionists.”

Angry crowds gathered on Tuesday again and set off fireworks in the streets of Melbourne. They also threw cans and kicked police cars. Australian media report that police used rubber bullets to push back the crowd.

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