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May 1 protest has marginal effect

A BLOCKADE of the Australian Stock Exchange building in Perth by protesters on May 1 seems to have had little effect on the ASX.

The Perth exchange office ran on a skeleton staff, with those required for duty opting to arrive around 6am to avoid the protesters.

Other tenants of Exchange Plaza did meet some resistance.

Exchange Plaza manager Trish D’Souza said her staff had been well prepared for the occasion.

“There was a hindrance to tenants entering and exiting the building but we were still able to get people in and out,” Ms D’Souza said.

For the most part the protest was peaceful but there was at least one heated clash between protesters and police in the early part of the morning.

The Aroma Café adjacent to Exchange Plaza was hit hard by the blockade.

Café manager Nella Mulé said the combination of the blockade and the lower-than-usual staffing levels in Exchange Plaza businesses made for a very bad day’s trade.

“Customers weren’t able to come in for a lot of the day,” Ms Mulé said.

“I decided not to put out any hot food so that’s $1,000 gone already.”

Protest organisers bemoaned the lack of official trade union involvement, even though the protest seemed to largely revolve around workers’ rights.

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