Amazon has closed its six distribution centers in France for the time being following a French court ruling that it was not taking sufficient steps to protect its warehouse workers from COVID-19.
The court ruled on Tuesday that Amazon must stop selling “nonessential” items in France by Wednesday or incur a fine of 1 million euros (about $ 1.1 million) per day until ‘It presents a stronger plan to protect the health of its employees.
Although the decision authorizes the company to continue to send items such as food, medicine and “hygiene products”, company officials said the mandate was too broad to be interpreted. “Is a bottle a hygiene product? Yes, I think so, “said Frédéric Duval, an Amazon executive, to the Wall Street Journal. “But does the judge think of it as a hygiene product? I do not know. “
The complaint was filed by a group of French workers’ unions who alleged that conditions in Amazon’s warehouses were not safe enough to deal with COVID-19. Amazon has filed an immediate appeal, saying at the time, “We do not agree with today’s Nanterre court ruling and are currently assessing its implications for our French logistics sites. We will also continue to work with all stakeholders and provide the necessary clarifications. as we have done since the beginning of this unprecedented crisis. “
In an internal note to the French unions, obtained by Reuters, the company declared that its installations would be closed until April 20 at least in order to “assess the risks inherent in the epidemic of COVID-19 and take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of its employees. “
Demand for essential and frivolous products has exploded for Amazon around the world in recent weeks as buyers not only try to avoid going out to public in local stores, but many of these brick and mortar stores have also closed their doors, some temporarily, some permanently – In response to the new threat from coronaviruses.
Amazon systems and workers were overwhelmed by the rush. The company quickly hired 175,000 new warehouse and delivery workers, even warning of delays, not prioritizing non-essential product shipments, and limiting grocery delivery services to existing customers.
New Wall Street Journal report finds that Amazon is now reversing decades of design in an attempt to get consumers to lighten the load and trying to push consumers to buy Less than they would otherwise.
An employee told the WSJ, “We usually want to sell as much as we can, but our entire network is so complete right now with only hand sanitizers and toilet paper that we don’t have the capacity to respond to another request. “
In addition to removing upcoming promotions for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, this would go smoothly, reports the WSJ, Amazon has also removed recommendation widgets, reduced coupon promotions and made other subtle designed changes to make visitors do not fill their baskets with physical goods they might otherwise entice to buy. (Indeed, when I visited the Amazon website earlier, all of the suggested modules on the page where I usually see items I have purchased in the past relate directly to the COVID-19 response from the or are promoting digital products and services only, including Amazon Prime videos and Kindle eBooks.)
Company sources told WSJ that they don’t expect most of the changes to be permanent, but that Amazon may need more than two months from now before it can resume its pre-pandemic activities.