The Ballarat Trades and Labour Council took to the steps of Town Hall on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.
The group gathered at Town Hall in response to City of Ballarat shutting down a union rally and barbecue at Bupa Aged Care in Delacombe last week.
Council has apologised for the intervention in the protest but said barbecues in public spaces require a permit.
Ballarat organiser for ANMF Alan Townsend said it was unfair for Council to target the rally and they will continue to stage protests on behalf of their members and other workers.
“For years we have been peacefully protesting and assisting our members to stand up for their rights and we've never had this sort of intervention before from Ballarat City Council,” he said.
“We are protesting in relation to that and letting Ballarat City Council know that in future any attempts to move us on will not get them the outcome they are seeking.”
Mr Townsend said the ANMF would not be seeking permits to protest in the City of Ballarat.
“We are sending a clear message that we will continue to fight for the rights of our members with peaceful protests without interference from the council,” he said.
“We won’t be abiding by any stupid idea of having to get permits before hand.”
Ballarat Trades Hall secretary Brett Edgington said the Trades and Labour Council have officially rejected any move towards protest permits.
“Our council met on Tuesday night, the night after Ballarat Council shut down the rally at Bupa, and moved a resolution unanimously that we would not be adhering to directives from Ballarat City Council and that we would not be applying for permits requested for future for industrial action in Ballarat,” he said.
“We certainly refer to the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and our right to assemble to protect working people in Ballarat.”
City of Ballarat Infrastructure and Environment Director Terry Demeo said workplace protests normally wouldn’t need a permit but urged groups to keep council informed of any events taking place on public land.
“Industrial action would receive an exemption from permit requirements provided appropriate emergency services were notified,” he said.
“The City of Ballarat strongly encourages parties who are conducting industrial action to communicate with the council so that we are aware of the action or event.”
Council also refuted claims from Mr Edgington that they had not acknowledged the presence of a second laws officer at the union rally on Monday, October 9.
“The City of Ballarat has neither confirmed nor denied how many council officers were on the site of the Bupa protest last week,” Mr Demeo said.
“There were two on site, but only one acted in their delegated role.”
The industrial dispute between Bupa and ANMF that triggered the industrial action in Delacombe continues in the federal court.
“There has been some forward progress but we are still having discussions with Bupa in relation to staffing and proposed staffing cuts,” Mr Townsend said.