Amazon ordered to deliver only essential goods during a pandemic in France

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French court ordered Amazon to cut local delivery operations to cover only essentials, warning Tuesday that if court decision is not followed within 24 hours, company could face $ 1 million penalty ‘euros ($ 1.1 million) for each day. delay.

In its ruling, the Nanterre Court of Justice ordered Amazon to further regulate its activities in France to receive, prepare and deliver only essential products, such as food, hygiene and medical products.

The court also demanded that the company conduct an assessment of “occupational hazards inherent in the Covid-19 epidemic” in all of its warehouses, according to a decision by CNN.

“We do not agree with the decision made today by the Court of Justice of Nanterre and are currently assessing its implications for our French logistics sites,” Amazon spokesperson Céline Mandouze said on Tuesday, adding that the company planned to appeal the court’s decision.

This decision follows a complaint by the French workers ‘union – Syndicale Solidaires – which accused the online delivery giant of endangering workers’ lives amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement to CNN, the union said Amazon had violated employee withdrawal rights, alleging that the company had threatened to suspend employee wages.

When asked to comment on the charges, an Amazon spokesperson said, “Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees. In the past four weeks in France, we have deployed 127,000 additional wipe packs, more than 27,000 liters of hand sanitizer gel, and over 1.5 million masks on our sites. We have added temperature controls, social distancing measures and tripled the size of our concierge teams with more than 200 additional zones for improved cleaning at each site.

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced on March 14 that all non-essential businesses in the country would close, including restaurants, cafes, cinemas and clubs. Markets, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, newspapers and tobacco stores were to remain open.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that the emergency measures would remain in place until May 11.

Amazon employs workers worldwide. In a blog article, the multinational said it had increased the wages of hourly workers by $ 2 / hour in the United States, $ 2 / hour in Canada and € 2 / hour in many countries in the EU; had doubled the basic hourly wage for each additional hour worked and was offering overtime with full pay to people diagnosed with Covid-19.

In the U.S., Amazon is facing pressure from lawmakers and workers to take more safety precautions and potentially shut down facilities affected by the virus, with cases reported from facilities in Washington, California and New York, among others. Employees staged walkouts to protest Amazon’s decision to keep the warehouses open.

Earlier this month, Amazon announced that it would quickly expand temperature controls for employees. But some Amazon employees and candidates have previously told CNN Business that they remain concerned about crowded hiring events, limited access to disinfectant wipes, and Amazon’s overall ability to deliver on its promises.

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