Amazon will shut its warehouses in France till no less than early subsequent week after a court docket ordered it to restrict deliveries to important items equivalent to meals and medical provides.
In an inside doc despatched to French unions forward of a gathering on Wednesday afternoon, Amazon stated it deliberate to shut the nation’s six warehouses, which make use of 10,000 everlasting and interim employees, from April 16 till April 20 no less than.
“The corporate is compelled to droop all manufacturing actions in all of its distribution facilities in an effort to assess the inherent dangers within the COVID-19 epidemic and take the required measures to make sure the security of its workers (throughout that interval),” Amazon stated within the doc seen by Reuters.
In the course of the suspension, Amazon will faucet a state partial unemployment scheme to pay its workers, the group stated within the inside doc.
Amazon’s French subsidiary didn’t return calls searching for feedback.
The world’s largest on-line retailer is going through mounting scrutiny on either side of the Atlantic of the well being measures it has put in place to guard workers from the coronavirus whereas it offers with a surge in on-line orders.
With most outlets in France shuttered as the federal government tries to include the pandemic, the closure of the warehouses will seemingly disrupt deliveries throughout the nation.
In a ruling on Tuesday, a French court docket stated Amazon needed to perform a extra thorough evaluation of the chance of coronavirus contagion at its warehouses and may limit its deliveries within the meantime, or face a high quality.
“We’re puzzled by the court docket ruling given the arduous proof introduced ahead relating to safety measures put in place to guard our workers”, Amazon stated in a press release.
“Our interpretation means that we could also be compelled to droop the exercise of our distribution centres in France,” the group stated, including it will attraction the choice.
The case adopted a criticism filed by Union Syndicale Solidaires, a French group of commerce unions.
A few of them had known as for the whole closure of Amazon’s actions in France, or on the very least a clampdown, after elevating considerations over well being requirements at its transport websites, arguing they have been too crowded.
Amazon at present employs near 10,000 folks at its six French warehouses, 6,500 of whom are on everlasting contracts, in response to the court docket choice.
Circumstances of COVID-19, the flu-like an infection brought on by the virus, have been reported amongst employees from no less than 19 Amazon warehouses in the USA and the corporate has been hit by high-profile protests at a number of warehouses there.