Italian Unions Say Vax Passport Forces Unvaccinated to Pay to Go to Work

People protest against the so-called Green Pass on Piazza Duomo in Milan on October 16, 2021 as all workers must show since October 15 a so-called Green Pass, offering proof of vaccination, recent recovery from Covid-19 or a negative test, or face being declared absent without pay. (Photo by Piero …

Italian trade unions have criticised the country’s vaccine passport, saying it will force unvaccinated union members to pay money to go to work.

The unions criticise the fact that workers will have to pay out of pocket for coronavirus tests to keep their vaccine passport, known as the Green Pass, valid, or they will not be able to work.

“Getting tested has previously been free but now costs around €15 [£12.65/$17.41]. This means that unvaccinated people have to pay to work,” Francesco Staccioli, president of USB union, told Swedish broadcaster SVT.

“In Italy, vaccination is voluntary, but the rules mean that those who do not want to get vaccinated need to pay to get tested. For these people, it will cost money to go to work,” Mr Staccioli explained.

“The Italian economy and businesses were hit extremely hard by the pandemic. Now companies no longer have to take responsibility for a safe workplace. Responsibility has been transferred to the individual worker,” he added.

Since October 15th, Italy has required a valid Green Pass in all workplaces in both the public and private sector, resulting in several protests since the deadline, some of which descended into violence.

Dockworkers in Trieste held a multi-day protest against the vaccine passport, blocking activity in the port until police deployed water cannons and tear gas to clear the workers and allies who had come to protest in support of them.

On Tuesday, Italian Health Undersecretary Pierpaolo Sileri stated that third doses of the coronavirus vaccine would likely be offered to the general public in January. The health minister haas also given the green light for the booster for the one-dose Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine.

Mr Sileri also outlined the steps before the mandates for the Green Pass will end, saying: “We will remove the mandatory Green Pass, but not now. We must proceed step by step. First, we will remove the obligation of social distancing, then the masks, and finally the Green Pass.”

He added that mandatory vaccinations were not being considered by the government, saying: “The mandatory vaccine would not be useful. It will not convince the anti-vaxxers to get vaccinated.”

Meanwhile, the French government has also given the go-ahead for a third vaccine dose for the general public and is even considering making it mandatory to qualify for the country’s vaccine passport, which was already extended until next summer.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.