Amazon France reopens warehouses after workers’ dispute ends

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An Amazon spokesperson told CNN Business on Tuesday that the six warehouses in France “will gradually reopen from today.”

Union files complaint against court Amazon ((AMZN) was not doing enough to protect its workers from coronaviruses in its warehouses. The court ordered the company to limit itself to selling only “essential” products.

Instead of complying with the order, Amazon closed its warehouses in France on April 15, accusing complex logistics, confusion over what was an essential good, and the possibility of high fines.

After losing a call and saying it would take the case to the French Supreme Court, Amazon announced on Friday that it had reached an agreement with the unions.

“This follows five weeks of discussions in which we have repeatedly provided clarification and information on the extensive security measures already implemented in our distribution centers to keep our employees safe,” said one Amazon spokesperson in a statement released Friday.

The company continued to pay its employees during the closure and argued that it had strengthened employee protections. Throughout the impasse, customers in France were able to purchase goods from third-party market vendors and from Amazon’s global order fulfillment network, the company said.

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According to the French Democratic Labor Confederation, one of the four main unions to negotiate with Amazon, employees will gradually return to warehouses on a voluntary basis at first.

In a press release, the union said it had “obtained health and safety guarantees” for employees, as well as a salary bonus of € 2 ($ 2.19) an hour for those who return voluntarily and schedule adjustments to help increase physical distance.

In the United States and around the world, Amazon has been criticized for workers’ health and safety as it faced increasing demand for its services during the pandemic. Workers staged protests because the company frustrated employees and critics by refusing to provide information on the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in its warehouses.

– Sara O’Brien contributed to this report.

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